UFC 61

UFC 61: Bitter Rivals was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday, July 8, 2006. The event took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada and was broadcast live on pay-per-view in the United States.


The main event was a Heavyweight Championship match between champion Tim Sylvia and former champion Andrei Arlovski. This was the third time these fighters had met, they had split the first two meetings. The co-main event was the highly anticipated re-match of TUF 3 coaches Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock.

It was announced during the event that Chuck Liddell would fight PRIDE star Wanderlei Silva in November if Liddell won his upcoming match against Renato "Babalu" Sobral at UFC 62. Negotiations between the UFC and PRIDE failed however and the Liddell-Silva fight never occurred in November 2006. The two would eventually meet in December 2007 at UFC 79.

The number of pay-per-view buys for UFC 61 in the United States was approximately 775,000, which set a new UFC buyrate record and generated gross PPV revenue of approximately $30,960,000. [1] The disclosed fighter payroll for the event was $676,000. With a live gate at $3,350,775, it nearly eclipsed the all-time mark for UFC events set at UFC 57.



Preliminary card

* Welterweight bout: United States Drew Fickett vs. United States Kurt Pellegrino

Fickett wins by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:20 of round three. This bout was not aired on the broadcast.

* Heavyweight bout: United States Gilbert Aldana vs. France Cheick Kongo

Kongo wins by technical knockout (doctor stoppage) at 4:13 of round one. This was a preliminary bout, and was not aired on the broadcast.

* Heavyweight bout: United States Jeff Monson vs. Australia Anthony Perosh

Monson wins by technical knockout (strikes) at 2:43 of round one. This bout was not aired on the broadcast, although highlights were shown at the end.

* Catchweight (165 lb) bout: Brazil Hermes Franca vs. United States Joe Jordan

Franca wins by submission (triangle choke) at :47 of round three. Franca was originally matched with Roger Huerta. However, Huerta withdrew from the card due to injury and was replaced by Joe Jordan. The fight took place at a catchweight of 165 lb, instead of lightweight, as allowances were made for Jordan as a late replacement. This bout was not aired on the broadcast, but it was highlighted as the submission of the night

Main card

* Lightweight bout: United States Joe Stevenson vs. The Bahamas Yves Edwards

Stevenson wins by technical knockout (doctor stoppage due to cuts) at the end of round two.

* Heavyweight bout: United States Frank Mir vs. United States Dan Christison

Mir wins by unanimous decision. The judges each scored the bout 29–28.

* Light heavyweight bout: United States Tito Ortiz vs. United States Ken Shamrock

Ortiz wins by technical knockout (referee stoppage, due to strikes) at 1:18 of round one.

* Welterweight bout: United States Josh Burkman vs. United States Josh Neer

Burkman wins by unanimous decision. The judges scored the bout 29–28, 30–27 and 29–28.

* Heavyweight championship bout: United States Tim Sylvia (c) vs. Belarus Andrei Arlovski

Sylvia wins by unanimous decision to retain his title. The judges scored the bout 48–47, 49–46 and 48–47.