The preliminary card will begin at 6 p.m. ET on Spike.com and the main card will start at 8 p.m. ET on MTV2 and in commercial free high definition on EPIX HD.
To discuss the fights, use the comments section below and follow Pete DiLorenzo (@longhornsmma) and on Twitter, who will be at cageside tonight in Rhode Island covering the fights.
Paul Barrow vs. Matt Bessette
Round 1 – Bessette came out with great in-and-out movement to start the round but then got locked up when Barrow looked for a take-down. Barrow then pushed Bessette to the fence and the referee broke them apart after a inadvertent knee to the cup by Barrow. Barrow then closed the distance again but Bessette landed a few solid straight rights that pushed Barrow off. The two separated again and Barrow went for another unsuccessful single-leg take-down. Bessette then pushed Barrow against the cage and started landing some solid elbow combinations. Barrow again pushed Bessette away and finished the round with a solid take-down.
Round 2 – Bessette once again started the round with great movement and some light leg-kicks. Bessette then pushed Barrow against the cage but got twisted and pulled down to the ground. Bessette then got the fight back to the clinch and he started landing heavy knees. The referee then stepped in from another groin shot from Bessette. After the break Bessette stepped right in with a great counter combo. Bessette then pushed the action against the cage again and worked the clinch. Bessette finally dropped Barrow with a couple of knees to the stomach. Barrow keeled over in immediate pain but recovered quickly and suckered Bessette to the ground. Bessette then countered on the ground and locked in a tight guillotine, but lost it near the end of the round. The round finished with Barrow on-top.
Round 3 – Barrow opened the final round with a couple of sloppy jabs. Bessette then stepped in with a couple of solid elbows from the clinch. After some more clinch work Barrow finally got the take-down he was looking for but Bessette got back up to his feet quickly. Barrow then went in again for another take-down but got overpowered and back into the clinch. Barrow then started fighting for a standing kimura but got pushed away again from Bessette. The round ended with Bessette using his distance and landing a couple of body kicks.
Bellator 81 Result: Matt Bessette defeats Paul Barrow via Unanimous Decision (29-28 30-27 30-27)
Sam McCoy vs. Brennan Ward
Round 1 – McCoy shot right in immediately but Ward easily pulled off a sweep and got on top. Ward then pushed away and forced the fight back to its feet. McCoy then offered up some very odd offense with a single punch and take-down counter which he repeated unsuccessfully Ward then stepped in and started dropping heavy shots from the top and eventually was able to finish McCoy with some solid right hands from the top.
Bellator 81 Result: Brennan Ward defeats Sam McCoy via KO RD1 @ 2:49
Mike Mucitelli vs. Matt Uhde
Round 1 – Udhe immediately came in with a strong take-down. Mucitelli immediately countered from his back and scored a quick arm-bar submission for the victory.
Bellator 81 Result: Mike Mucitelli defeats Matt Uhde via Submission (Arm-Bar) RD1 @ :26
Murad Machaev vs. Lorawnt-T Nelson
Round 1 -Nelson came in with a nice chop kick to start the round off but was then immediately countered and taken down. Nelson then popped back up but was then forced to the ground by the stronger Machaev. Nelson stayed very busy on his back but Machaev remained heavy handed throughout the exchange and continued with the position. Nelson kept trying to get up but was eventually pushed against the cage where Machaev was able to utilize some good knees to the body. The round ended with Machaev throwing heavy body shots.
Round 2 -Nelson opened up the second round with another kick combo. Machaev immediately pushed the fight into the cage but Nelson came away clean. Machaev started to work some combos and forced Nelson to the ground. From top-position Machaev trapped Nelsons arms and started landing some very heavy blows. From the crucifix position Nelson exploded and got out but ended up giving up his back in the process. The round finished with Machaev dropping some more punches from the top-position.
Round 3 – The final round opened with Nelson missing a nice uppercut. Machaev immediately followed by pushing Nelson to the cage and stealing another take-down. Nelson once again turtled up and gave up his back. From there Machaev continued to stifle Nelson by controlling him all over the ground. Machaev locked in another Crucifix and forced cuts under both of Nelson’s eyes with heavy hammer-fists. Nelson then snuck out again and finished the round turtled up and taking heavy damage.
Bellator 81 Result: Murad Machaev defeats Lorawnt-T Nelson via Unanimous Decision (30-27 30-27 30-27)
Joe Lamoureux vs. Dan Cramer
Round 1 -Lamoureux rushed right in and forced the clinch against the cage. Cramer started working some light knees that pushed him into a better position. Both fighters then struggled for position against the cage. Cramer then surprised Lamoureux with a hip-toss and started landing heavy blows that busted open his nose. Cramer then threw a barrage of knees and elbows and finished the fight with three straight shots to the temple.
Bellator 81 Result: Dan Cramer defeats Joe Lamoureux via TKO RD1 @ 3:26
Eric Brown vs. Andrew Caldandrelli
Round 1 – The two open the fight with a lot of circling and not much action. It wasn’t until about a minute and a half into the round that Brown finally landed the first punch. Caldandrelli then pushed Brown against the cage and forced an inside trip that got the fight to the ground. From the top position Caldandrelli tried working an arm-triangle choke but was unsuccessful. Caldandrelli then stepped out of full-mount and went for a north/south choke but was once again unsuccessful. The round ended with the two fighters standing and trading some light jabs.
Round 2 – The second round opened with Caldandrelli utilizing the trip to get Brown down to the ground. From top-position Caldandrelli started working for another arm-traingle choke but was unable to secure it this time. Caldandrelli then moved into full-mount and started dropping some jackhammer shots. As the round wore on Caldandrelli grabbed a sneaky spinning arm-bar and forced Brown to tap immediately.
Bellator 81 Result: Andrew Caldandrelli defeats Eric Brown via Submission (Arm-Bar) RD2 @ 3:10
Perry Filkins vs. Jonas Billstein
Round 1 – The round opened up with Filkins being the aggressor on his feet. Billstein kept going for take-downs but was unable to capitalize and kept ended up getting counter punched. As the round wore on, Filkins was visibly getting upset with the pace of the round and Billstein’s constant in-and-out movement. Near the end of the round both fighters clinched up against the cage with Billstein forcing a very late take-down. Filkins immediately switched and landed on-top as the bell rang.
Round 2 – The round started much the same as the first with both landing clean strikes. As the round wore on, Billstein started picking up the pace and the movement. Once again, Filkins started getting agitated with the pace and was eventually poked in the eye. The referee stopped the fight briefly but the guys went right back into the action. Filkins then poked Billstein the eye and stopped the action again. Once the action was restarted Filkins started coming forward and turned up the volume on his punches. As the round came to an end both fighters finished with a couple of decent exchanges and a huge take down by Billstein.
Round 3 – The final round opened with Billstein pushing Filkins into the corner and the clinch. The referee then stopped the fight for another inadvertent groin shot from Billstein. As both fighters restarted the action remained much the same with Filkins leading with hooks and Billstein moving in-and-out. Billstein then snaps a huge snap-kick which wakes up Filkins. Filkins then starts chanting, yelling and running around the cage. Both fighters are now engaging but Billstein grabs a take-down and pulls guard. Both fighters then returned to their feet and back into the clinch. As the round closes out Billstein once again grabs a take-down but finds himself on the bottom. The round ended with Filkins on-top and landing heavy blows.
Bellator 81 Result: Perry Filkins defeats Jonas Billstein via Unanimous Decision (30-27 29-28 29-28)
Dustin Neace vs. Marlon Sandro
Round 1 – The round opened with both fighters circling and Sandro eventually getting pulled to the ground by Neace. From there Sandro grabbed side control and was using his power to gain control. Neace then tried sneaking in a heel-hook but Sandro spun it over and grabbed Neace’s back. From there Sandro sunk in the RNC and the referee had to step in for the technical submission as Neace was asleep.
Bellator 81 Result: Marlon Sandro defeats Dustin Neave via Technical Submission (RNC) RD1 @ 2:05
Dave Jansen vs. Ricardo Tirloni
Round 1 – Both fighters started quick and looked for the knockout shot. Jansen then dropped Tirloni but he recovered quickly. As the round wore on the pace didn’t slow down one bit and Tirloni seemed to be picking the better shots. To slow the pace a little bit Jansen started throwing some leg kicks but that didn’t do much. Tirloni then hit Jansen with a good left but he quickly recovered and started returning fire. As the round came to a close Jansen grabbed Tirloni and suplexed him to the canvas. Tirloni then pulled himself up as the bell rang.
Round 2 – The second round started with a couple of missed right hands by both fighters. As the round continued both fighters slowed down a bit and really just started counter punching each other Tirloni then threw a hay-maker which landed wide and outside that woke Jansen up a bit. Jensen then tried changing levels and got locked in Tirloni’s tai plum. As the round came to a close both fighters continued their onslaught of counter punches.
Round 3 – The final round opened with a simultaneous clinch. Jensen then continued to throw some uppercuts with little damage on Tirloni. More chants of USA started echoing through the Ryan Center as Jensen started to push the pace a little further. Tirloni then started using in-and-out movement to slow Jensen’s pace down a little bit. After a lull in the action Jensen went for a take-down and a flurry ensued. As the round came to a close Jensen went in for another suplex but was unable to capitalize.
Bellator 81 Result: Dave Jansen defeats Ricardo Tirloni via Split Decision (29-28 29-28 28-29)
Marcin Held vs. Rich Clementi
Round 1 – The round opened with Held landing a couple of nice low leg-kicks. Clementi then grabbed Held and rolled him to the ground. The exchange lead to a very awkward position which eventually lead to Held grabbing a toe-hold. As the exchange went on, Clementi countered with a leg-lock. As the round wore on Clementi then positioned for an inverted heel-hook. Held then snuck out and grabbed a knee-bar. The round finally ended with Held on-top and Clementi going for a triangle.
Round 2 – The second round opened with a couple of good shots by Clementi. He then grabbed Held and threw him down to the mat. From the top position Clementi continued to move around and hold half-guard. As the round wore on Clementi maintained the top-position with Held trying to fish for more leg-locks. As the flurry ensued Held snuck in a toe-hold and forced Clementi to tap.
Bellator 81 Result: Marcin Held defeats Rich Clementi via Submission (Toe-Hold) RD2 @ 3:04