Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC Fight Night 81.
The action comes to us from the TD Garden in Boston and airs on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
In the main event, T.J. Dillashaw defends his bantamweight title against the man who never lost it, Dominick Cruz.
Dillashaw (12-2) has won four in a row, including a pair of title defenses vs. Renan Barao and Joe Soto. Both of those fights, the former Ultimate Fighter alum won via finish, knocking out Barao in the fourth and Soto in the fifth.
Cruz (20-1) returned from a three-year layoff in 2014 and knocked Takeya Mizugaki out in the first round, but another torn ACL sidelined him all of last year. The UFC stripped “The Dominator” of the belt after his first series of injuries.
In the co-main event, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis takes on ex-Bellator titleholder Eddie Alvarez, while heavyweights Travis Browne and Matt Mitrione collide in another main card bout.
Lightweights Francisco Trinaldo and Ross Pearson begin the FS1 main card broadcast after four prelims bout – also on FS1 – featuring Ben Saunders-Patrick Cote, Ed Herman-Tim Boetsch, Medhi Baghdad-Chris Wade and Maximo Blanco-Luke Sanders.
On Fight Pass beginning at 6 p.m. ET will be Paul Felder-Daron Cruickshank, Charles Rosa-Kyle Bochniak, Sean O’Connell-Ilir Latifi, Rob Font-Joey Gomez and Elvis Mutapcic-Francimar Barroso.
Now, on to the action! Remember to keep hitting “refresh” for all the latest results:
Francimar Barroso vs. Elvis Mutapcic
We begin the night on UFC Fight Pass and in the light heavyweight division, as Francimar Barroso (17-4) welcomes Elvis Mutapcic (15-3) to the Octagon. Mutapcic, who was set to fight for the Victory FC title later this month, replaces Abdul-Kerim Edilov on just eight days notice.
Round 1: Right off the bat, Barroso lands with a huge right hand that stuns Mutapcic. Barroso follows up a kick with another big right, but this one misses. Spinning attack by Mutapcic is answered by another body shot. Feeling out process in the early stages outside of the big shots thrown. Takedown scores by Barroso, but he is met with several nasty and sharp elbows. Quickly, Barroso shuts that down and lands his own strikes from the top. Nice, active top game from the Brazilian. Mutapcic, though, is showing his own skills from the bottom, connecting with shots and really avoiding many strikes in the process.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Mutapcic
Round 2: Much like the first, Barroso with a heavy right to start this round. Another leg kick finds a home and he even catches that of Mutapcic. Some damage starting to form on the inside leg of “The King,” as Barroso continues to mix his strikes and kicks. Takedown defended by Mutapcic this time. Brief break in the action after Mutapcic’s mouthpiece comes out. Mutapcic has center of the Octagon, but he hasn’t been able to take advantage of it. Barroso with a left that finds its mark. That last strike opened a huge cut on the face of Mutapcic, and again his mouthpiece comes out.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Barroso
Round 3: Mutapcic comes firing out this round, showing much more aggression and intensity. He follows up with a good shot and seems to have his feet under him now. Barroso lands with an uppercut and fires back with loose jabs to the body. For a third time, Mutapcic’s mouthpiece comes out. Joe Rogan reports it is a cheap one, thus the reason for it coming out. The corner of Mutapcic instructing him to push the pace, but he’s staying more consistent with his attacks and not rushing in. Barroso with more power shots at the end of the round.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Barroso
Francimar Barroso def. Elvis Mutapcic via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Rob Font vs. Joey Gomez
We’ll move down to the bantamweight ranks for the first time, as Boston’s Rob Font (11-1) goes up against Joey Gomez (6-0).
Round 1: Font comes right out and is ready to go. He’s been out of action with injuries since 2014, so it’s obvious he wants to engage. Gomez appears to be hurt after a body shot and the corner of Font is instructing him to relax and attack. Takedown for Font but he can’t keep him on the ground for very long. Another takedown, but Gomez gets right back up again. Uppercut followed by a left hook that just graces the face. Once more, Font with the takedown and Gomez pounces back up. This time, he finds a home with a shot on the break.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Font
Round 2: Font with a flurry of shots that find a home through the defense. A left followed up by a front-kick by Font, as he is the superior striker. Gomez decides enough is enough, getting aggressive with his offense finally. He goes to the body with a liver kick. Another left and Gomez is hurt. It was a left-hook from Font that did the initial damage. He lands another and Gomez scores with a takedown. Blood pouring from the nose of Gomez and Font attacks, forcing the ref to step in after several shots.
Rob Font def. Joey Gomez via TKO (strikes) at 4:13 of Round 2