Welcome to the UFC Fight Night 61: Bigfoot vs. Mir live results and play-by-play post, where we’ll delve into such questions as “Why is Frank Mir headlining a UFC event while riding a four-fight losing streak?” and “Oh man, who are these Brazilian B-level fighters?” That’s right, it’s another Fight Night event that could very well be a regional show with little to no impact on what happens on the international stage – but it’s not! It’s UFC-branded content! So sit back, relax, and wonder along with me while we watch these fights go down.

Prelim results – Fight Pass

  • Ivan Jorge def. Josh Shockley via Unanimous Decision

Prelim results – FOX Sports 1

  • Douglas Silva def. Cody Gibson via Unanimous Decision
  • Mike De La Torre def. Tiago Trator via TKO (Punches) at 2:59, R1
  • Matt Dwyer def. William Macario via KO (Punches) at 3:14, R1
  • Marion Reneau def. Jessica Andrade via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:54, R1

Main card results – FOX Sports 1

-Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Sean Strickland

Round 1: No way am I constantly spelling “Ponzinibbio” over and over again, so hereafter he’s just Santiago. Okay? The bout starts with Santiago taking control of the center of the cage, stalking the American down and landing a decent right hand that lets Strickland know he better keep his guard up. Strickland eats a left after that, and nails a takedown that has Santiago wall-walking back upright after just a second or two. They resume slugging – Strickland with a constant jab in Santiago’s face, and Santiago with a variety of strong kicks and punches – and after three and a half minutes the Argentinean is banging away. With 15 seconds left in the round Santiago hits a double-leg, and the horn sounds with him on top.

Round 2: Santiago ratchets up the punishment on Strickland’s lead leg, forcing Strickland to get more aggressive lest he stand there and become a human punching bag. To deal with his foe’s superior reach, Santiago gets relentless with his overhand rights, and that provides another wrinkle that Strickland has to deal with. The round ends with Santiago clocking him hard and Strickland probably wishing he’d lost his passport and stayed in the States.

Round 3: Sick of his jab failing to keep Santiago at bay, Strickland switches into wrestle-mode and manages to get his opponent down with a takedown. Unfortunately for him, Santiago is still the boss of getting back up quickly, and he resumes chipping away at the taller American with kicks and punches. Their output wanes as time passes though, and aside from some sudden flurries by Santiago, they end the bout with a lot of dancing.

Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Sean Strickland via Unanimous Decision

-Iuri Alcantara vs. Frankie Saenz

Round 1: Saenz comes into the bout a heavy underdog, so he wastes no time showing the dangerous Brazilian his ace card by scoring a takedown 25 seconds in. Alcantara gets back up, and after making some distance, begins to utilize kicks to inflict damage. With a minute left in the round Alcantara gets a takedown of his own, but when he attempts to take the American’s back he rides too high – a fact that enables Saenz to shake him off, take top position, and inflict a little ground-and-pound lovin’.

Round 2: Alcantara begins the frame landing a big left kick to the head that Saenz inexplicably shakes off. The Brazilian then shoots for a takedown that is easily dodged, and when he turtles Saenz repeatedly knees him in the ribs and peppers him with fists to the dome. Eventually Alcantara rolls into a heelhook attempt, but the American escapes, nestles into Alcantara’s guard, and while dodging armbars, resumes his ground and pound. Saenz lets him up after a bit, and the round ends with Alcantara scoring on the feet.

Round 3: Saenz continues to defy the odds by imposing his wrestling will – first by smooshing Alcantara against the cage, then by hitting the double-leg and racking up points dropping knuckles on Alcantara’s head. More battling against the cage ensues, with Saenz blasting away with knees to the Brazilian’s body and thighs. With 40 seconds to go, Alcantara nails a takedown of his own, and he briefly takes mount and then back-mount. The American shimmies out of danger, and the horn sounds with him hammerfisting a turtled Alcantara.

Result: Frankie Saenz def. Iuri Alcantara via Unanimous Decision

-Rustam Khabilov vs. Adriano Martins

Round 1: The first two and a half minutes of the fight is spent in a maddening dance of tentativeness mixed with feints and near-miss punches, but then Martins shoots for a takedown and Khabilov is suddenly fighting to not get submitted. The Dagestani escapes after a furious 45 seconds, and then they reset and Khabilov attempts to make up for lost points by exploding into strikes that Martins proves too elusive to get caught with.

Round 2: Ever see a traditional kung fu demonstration where the martial artists go back and forth throwing flashy techniques at each other that look cool but never land? Yeah, that’s what happens here, with both men seemingly having way too much respect for the other to commit to something serious. After about three and a half minutes Martins gets a takedown that keeps Khabilov down for about one second, and Khabilov shoots for a takedown that’s stuffed. In terms of strikes that do land, Khabilov is racking up the points, but Martins lands a left that stumbles him in the final seconds of the round, so who knows what the scorecards will read.

Round 3: Martins keeps eating punches, so he mixes things up and takes Khabilov down, working from the Dagestani’s half-guard until he finds mount. Khabilov escapes and gets back to his feet, and he spends the rest of the round stalking and throwing leather while Martins stumbles out of the way. Martins scores one more takedown, but is it enough to convince the judges? Beats me.

Result: Adriano Martins def. Rustam Khabilov via Split Decision

-Cezar Ferreira vs. Sam Alvey

Round 1: Ferreira is one long dude, and he proves this by throwing about 50 kicks from all directions while Alvey grins and blocks them. However, for the first three minutes, Alvey throws all of two punches (and they miss), so you start to wonder what the hell his plan is. Well, his plan is to throw one KO punch, and he does it, uncorking a left hook like a fine wine kept in the cellar. The Brazilian drops like a felled tree, and that’s it.

Result: Sam Alvey def. Cezar Ferreira via KO (Punch) at 3:34, R1 

-Edson Barboza vs. Michael Johnson

Round 1: It takes Barboza approximately six seconds to start landing kicks, and it takes Johnson about eight seconds to turn on the aggressive boxing game, so the odds of this one going the distance decrease dramatically. Over and over again the Brazilian fires off kicks to the American’s neck that Johnson blocks. And while he does manage to plant a few knees to the body as Johnson charges in, Barboza is eating leather repeatedly. The output of Johnson alone is something to behold.

Round 2: Barboza’s kicks to the body are now getting through, which only serves to encourage Johnson to keep pursuing. The Brazilian lets his hands go more in the boxing exchanges, and does succeed in stumbling his opponent, but Johnson keeps plugging away with four-punch combos, and eventually Barboza is shooting for – and failing to get – a takedown. The round ends with the American looking strong and the Brazilian looking spent.

Round 3: For the first two and a half minutes Barboza appears to have his timing and distance down perfectly, and is out-landing Johnson with his lightning-like kicks and punches. He tires though, and Johnson resumes touching his face. With 22 seconds in the round, Johnson nails the double-leg takedown, and the horns sounds with Barboza on his back.

Result: Michael Johnson def. Edson Barboza via Unanimous Decision

-Frank Mir vs. Antonio Silva

Round 1: Mir lumbers forward and Bigfoot lumbers backwards, and Mir pops him with a few punches that couldn’t really be described as quick. But when it seems like the Brazilian isn’t ready to commence his own offense, Mir fires off a left hook immediately after one of his jabs, and Silva crumples. The former champ follows up with a few punches while standing over the fallen fighter, and the ref jumps in.

Result: Frank Mir def. Antonio Silva via KO (Punches) at 1:40, R1