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UFC 181 results recap: Faber taps Rivera, Samman knocks out Gordon cold on 'Prelims'

UFC 181: "Hendricks vs Lawler 2" complete recap of Saturday night's (Dec. 6, 2014) “Prelims” mixed martial arts (MMA) action that featured six bouts across five weight classes, airing live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and UFC Fight Pass. Who won, lost, got KOed, and tapped? Get your UFC 181 “Prelims” fix below.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Las Vegas on Saturday night (Dec. 6, 2014) for the outstanding final pay-per-view (PPV) of the year in UFC 181: "Hendricks vs Lawler 2" live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Prior to the PPV main card, the event was kicked off with a captivating set of "Prelims" on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and UFC Fight Pass.

Full results and play-by-play here.

The undercard featured a ton of intriguing bouts, including the return of the most recent The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winners Corey Anderson and Eddie Gordon. Former WEC champion and perennial UFC contender Urijah Faber was once again given the "Prelims" main event slot, taking on rising bantamweight contender Francisco Rivera.

In the "Prelims" main event, Faber defeated Rivera via bulldog choke in the second round, although the finish was very controversial. What at first looked as if Faber hurt Rivera standing turned out to be an inadvertent eye poke that ultimately led to the finish. Regardless, "The California Kid" earned his 14th finish victory in his UFC/WEC career, tying Anderson Silva for most all time.

Check out the prelims recap below:

Urijah Faber vs. Francisco Rivera

Faber took the center of the cage early, but seemed hesitant to exchange with the heavy-handed Rivera early. Faber was able to land a few potshots here and there, but nothing of worth for the entire first round. Rivera continually stuffed Faber's takedowns, leading to added confidence and him opening up on the feet. Rivera landed a few solid combinations to end the first round that he could have very well won on the scorecards.

In the end, the first round did not matter much as Faber rebounded in the second round to get the bulldog choke finish. The finishing sequence was unfortunately kicked off by an inadvertent eye poke from Faber that the referee did not see. As Rivera tried to recover from the eye poke, Faber pounced on him and quickly choked him out.

Eddie Gordon vs. Josh Samman

Gordon's strength was evident early as he literally threw Samman off on a takedown attempt early. After a low blow, Samman waded in with a combination, but was reversed on his takedown attempt by Gordon. Gordon was landing pitter-patter on the mat, and Herb Dean was forced to stand them up. Samman was very aggressive on the restart with leg kicks, but Gordon responded with a huge double-leg takedown. This time Gordon was able to unleash some ground and pound on the mat in half-guard as the round concluded.

After a wild exchange to start the round, Samman made a mistake while attempting to get Gordon's back, allowing the TUF winner to once again gain top control. After another stand up from Herb Dean, Samman went back to the kicks, and they paid off big time. After a flurry from Samman, he followed it up with a picturesque head kick that knocked Gordon out on impact. Incredible finish from Josh Samman upon his UFC return.

Corey Anderson vs. Justin Jones

This was not a very good fight, but the TUF winner Corey Anderson earned the decision victory in his second Octagon appearance.

Anderson was pushing the pace early on the fight, looking to exchange as he took the center of the Octagon. Anderson landed several jabs and hooks, but his power was not really affecting Jones. Impressively, Jones thwarted the first few takedown attempts from Anderson and landed some big shots that definitely wobbled the recent TUF champion. Anderson fired back with a big knee and liver kick, and soon after took Jones down. Anderson worked some ground and pound as the round ended.

After feeling Jones' power in round one, Anderson wanted nothing to do with it in the second stanza. Anderson almost immediately initiated the clinch, landing some powerful shots before taking Jones down momentarily. As Jones fought back to his feet, he ate a huge jumping knee from Anderson followed up by a plethora of strikes in the clinch. Jones' stamina was nearly spent midway through the round, but he began to open up with some heavy leg kicks that bothered Anderson. In response to the kicks Anderson clinched Jones on the fence before slamming him with an impressive takedown to end the round.

Third round was more of the same as Anderson initiated the clinch, landed some heavy knees, and ultimately took Jones down with another slam. Jones simply could not withstand Anderson's pressure, and ultimately lost the decision in a snoozefest.

Raquel Pennington vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith

Evans-Smith came out strong early on in the first round, grinding Pennington on the fence en route to a takedown. After not much work on the ground from Evans-Smith, Pennington attempted a triangle, but was slammed for her troubles. The slam allowed Pennington to get to her feet, but Evans-Smith once again initiated the clinch on the fence. With the clock waning in the first, Pennington hit a surprise takedown on Evans-Smith that led to a bulldog choke with just seconds to go. Incredibly, Pennington choked Evans-Smith unconscious as the bell sounded (and FS1 cut to a commercial break...), winning the fight at 4:59 on the first round.

Sergio Pettis vs. Matt Hobar

It may have been a shaky start from Sergio Pettis, but the younger brother of the UFC lightweight champion ultimately got the job done.

Hobar tagged Pettis early with a left hook that nearly ended the fight in the first 15 seconds. Pettis was dropped, but sweeped Hobar in order to get back to his feet. Moments later Pettis tagged Hobar with a straight right, forcing Hobar to take him down. Hobar looked to pass into side control, but ate a devastating upkick before fighting off a triangle attempt. Pettis was very active off his back, but ultimately got back to his feet with another sweep. Pettis quickly got loose on the feet, putting together crisp combinations utilizing a bevy of strikes. The round ended with a failed takedown attempt from Pettis, allowing Hobar to gain control as the bell sounded.

Early on in the second round, Pettis caught a kick and landed a head kick that hurt Hobar. As Hobar attempted a takedown, he ate another head kick from Pettis and the youger brother of the lightweight champion began raining down brutal ground and pound in order to finish the fight. Mario Yamasaki nearly ended the punishment, but Hobar regained his senses enough to continue fighting. Pettis nearly gassed himself out looking for the finish, but regained some stamina while laying in Hobar's guard. Yamasaki stood them up for inactivity, and on the restart Pettis hurt Hobar again with a right hand. Hobar was able to land a beautiful trip takedown, but Pettis once again was busy off his back with submission attempts and upkicks.

The third round was a significantly slower pace as Hobar desperately tried to take Pettis down and look for the finish. Ultimately, Pettis was too savvy both on the mat and feet, earning his third UFC victory via decision.

Clay Collard vs. Alex White

The fans in attendance early were provided a show in the night's very first fight.

The first round between the two featherweight prospects started off quickly with Collard attempted a jumping double kick in the fights opening stanza. Both men came out very loose, looking to exchange on the feet from the start. Collard attempted the more flashy strikes, while White threw and landed the crisper punches. White was able to clip Collard multiple times in the round, but was never able to really put him in danger. While Collard was missing plenty of shots, he was also landing a bevy of strikes. Collard got a late takedown after catching a leg kick from White, but was unable to cause much damage before the round ended.

The second round started off quickly once again, with Collard clipping and hurting White with a left hook. After dropping White, Collard attacked with a rear-naked choke, but a technical error allowed White to escape out the back door and attack with a heel hook. Collard fought back to his feet, clipping White again before attacking with a deep triangle that looked to be the end of the fight. Incredibly, White fought threw the precarious position to get back to his feet and landed several powerful shots of his own. The round concluded with a wild exchange as both men were landing big shots.

White's corner told him he needed the finish to win the fight in the final stanza, and to his credit he worked dillegently to knock out Collard. Unfortunately for White, Collard took all of his best shots, even while being clearly gassed. Although the pace had slowed significantly, both men really put on an exciting scrap to set the tone for UFC 181.

Check out the full UFC 181 "Prelims" quick results below:

Urijah Faber def. Francisco Rivera via submission (bulldog choke) at 1:34 of Round 2
Josh Samman def. Eddie Gordon via KO (headkick) at 3:08 of Round 2

Corey Anderson def. Justin Jones via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
Raquel Pennington def. Ashlee Evans-Smith via submission (bulldog choke) at 4:59 of Round 1
Sergio Pettis def. Matt Hobar via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Clay Collard def. Alex White via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

For main card results and play-by-play click here.

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