On Sunday night, the UFC touched down in Brazil to bring fight fans UFC Fight Night 61 live from the Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. A matchup between a pair of heavyweights in desperate need of a win in Frank Mir and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva served as the main event.

Mir (16-9), a former two-time UFC champion, was looking to get back in the win column and put an end to a career-worst four fight losing streak, with his most recent being a decision loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 169 in February. Prior to this string of defeats, the Jackson-Winklejon product earned three straight victories, including a Submission of the Year over Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 140, en route to earning a shot at then-champion Junior dos Santos’ belt.

Bigfoot (18-6-1), a former UFC title contender, was last seen on the receiving end a of a first round knockout at the hands of Andrei Arlovski in the main event of UFC Fight Night 51 in September. Prior to this loss, in what has been labeled the greatest heavyweight fight in UFC history, the hulking Brazilian fought to a draw with current title contender Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33 in December 2013.

Complete results and full recaps from the epic night of fighting can be found below.


Santiago Ponzinibbio and Sean Strickland brought the house back down to not only kick off the main card of fights, but also keep a night of exciting bouts going. In the early part of the bout, Strickland kept Ponzinibbio at bay with his jab, but as the fight wore on, Ponzinibbio would find a home for multiple shots, including a right hand that connected with the gritty prospect Strickland, despite his best efforts to turn up the volume on his strikes. Ultimately, Ponzinibbio’s ability to pile on the punishment paid off as he walked home with the unanimous decision win.

Frankie Saenz wanted to put himself on the map in his bout with Iuri Alcantara, and though Alcantara executed well in scoring takedowns and gaining dominant positions early, Saenz began to take advantage of openings and score with takedowns and ground offense of his own. Though Alcantara would go on to fight valiantly in the third round, Saenz’s onslaught carried him to a unanimous-decision win in one of the night’s notable upsets.

Adriano Martins performed well against a game Rustam Khabilov, but with the way the fight went, few would have been able to notice. A largely uneventful first round saw Martins in control of a round that stays predominantly on the feet. Khabilov started to come back strong and stifle Martins in the second round, but Martins adjusted and took home the better end of the night’s first split-decision verdict after a third round that nearly mirrored the tempo and action (or lack thereof, depending on who gets asked the question) of the first round.

Cezar Ferreira looked to keep the pressure on Sam Alvey high from the onset of the bout, but Alvey showed how a little bit of patience can produce a huge payoff. One overhand right and a stiff left hand cause Ferreira to faceplant. The victory became academic once Ferreira hit the mat, but Alvey stayed on Ferreira until the referee finally intervened.

Michael Johnson took his fight with Edson Barboza seriously enough to where he knew he needed to prevent Barboza from turning the bout into a striking clinic, and he did exactly that for fifteen minutes. Despite a reach disadvantage, Johnson controlled the bout with combinations, aggression, and plenty of persistence, leaving Barboza unable to significantly execute his game plan effectively. The aggression of the TUF 12 runner-up led him to sweep all three scorecards for the fifth unanimous-decision win of the evening.

Frank Mir wanted an opportunity to address the skeptics that said he was losing more than a step and didn’t have it anymore, and it only took him a minute and 40 seconds to do exactly that. Mir found a home for a beautiful left hook that floored Silva and followed up with a vengeful display of shots before the fight was stopped.


MAIN CARD – FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET

Frank Mir def. Antonio Silva via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:40
Michael Johnson def. Edson Barboza by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Sam Alvey def. Cezar Ferreira by knockout (punches).  Round 1, 3:34
Adriano Martins def. Rustam Khabilov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Frankie Saenz def. Iuri Alcantara by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Sean Strickland by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

PRELIMS CARD – FOX Sports 1, 6 p.m. ET

Marion Reneau def. Jessica Andrade via submission (triangle choke). Round 1, 1:54
Matt Dwyer def. William Macario by knockout (superman punch). Round 1, 3:14
Mike de la Torre def. Tiago Trator by TKO (punches). Round 1, 2:59
Wendell Oliveira vs. T.J. Waldburger (cancelled)

PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC Fight Pass, 5 p.m. ET

Douglas Silva de Andrade def. Cody Gibson by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Ivan Jorge def. Josh Shockley by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)