Dominick Cruz put in a vintage performance as he defeated TJ Dillashaw in a razor-thin 5-round battle to recapture the UFC bantamweight crown at UFC Fight Night 81.
Cruz used his elusive footwork to frustrate Dillashaw into missing many of his strikes and utilized timely takedowns in close rounds.
Dillashaw landed leg kicks which hobbled Cruz late, but it wasn’t enough. The judges scored it 48-47, 46-49, and 49-46 for Cruz.
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Cruz and DIllashaw secured Fight-of-the-Night honours , while Luke Sanders and Ed Herman scored performances-of-the-night. All four fighters each earned an additional $50,000 bonus.
MMA Crossfire Expert Kenai Andrews checks in with her thoughts on the main card.
TSN 5 MAIN CARD
ROSS PEARSON VS FRANCISCO TRINALDO
WINNER: FRANCISO TRINALDO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: FRANCISCO TRINALDO VIA TKO
ANDREWS: Trinaldo fought intelligently, counterpunching Pearson’s aggressive attempts and landing powerful kicks. Pearson tried to find openings and landed some shots, but it wasn’t enough. Good performance by the Brazilian.
#6 TRAVIS BROWNE VS #14 MATT MITRIONE
WINNER: TRAVIS BROWNE VIA TKO R3 4:09
WISEMAN PREDICTION: MATT MITRIONE VIA TKO
ANDREWS: Browne’s kicks and length neutralized Mitrione, who could not close the distance. A couple of eye pokes by Browne didn’t help either. A point should have been deducted, but Browne’s versatility made the difference.
#1 ANTHONY PETTIS VS #4 EDDIE ALVAREZ
WINNER: EDDIE ALVAREZ VIA SPLIT-DECISION (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: ANTHONY PETTIS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
ANDREWS: Alvarez used the Rafael dos Anjos gameplan to nullify Pettis. Anthony needs to come up with something, because everyone now is going to try the same thing.
(C) TJ DILLASHAW VS DOMINICK CRUZ
WINNER: IN PROGRESS
WISEMAN PREDICTION: DOMINICK CRUZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION