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.
|UFC 61: Bitter Rivals|
The poster for UFC 61: Bitter Rivals.
|Promotion||Ultimate Fighting Championship|
|Date||July 8, 2006|
|Venue||Mandalay Bay Events Center|
|City||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Attendance||11,167 (9,999 paid)|
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 rematch 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. 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.
|Heavyweight||Tim Sylvia (c)||def.||Andrei Arlovski||Decision (unanimous) (48–47, 49–46, 48–47)||5||5:00||[a]|
|Welterweight||Josh Burkman||def.||Josh Neer||Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 30–27, 29–28)||3||5:00|
|Light Heavyweight||Tito Ortiz||def.||Ken Shamrock||TKO (elbows)||1||1:18|
|Heavyweight||Frank Mir||def.||Dan Christison||Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)||3||5:00|
|Lightweight||Joe Stevenson||def.||Yves Edwards||TKO (doctor stoppage)||2||5:00|
|Catchweight (165 lb)||Hermes França||def.||Joe Jordan||Submission (triangle choke)||3||0:47||[b]|
|Heavyweight||Jeff Monson||def.||Anthony Perosh||TKO (punches)||1||2:42|
|Heavyweight||Cheick Kongo||def.||Gilbert Aldana||TKO (doctor stoppage)||1||4:13|
|Welterweight||Drew Fickett||def.||Kurt Pellegrino||Submission (rear-naked choke)||3||1:20|
- For the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
- França 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.
- Venga, Gleidson (2006-07-05). "França’s Return to the UFC Caps Solid 2006". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
- "MMA Radio, Podcast, UFC, Beatdown, MMA Sunday School". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
- Mixed martial arts show results, Mandalay Bay, July 8, 2006 (PDF), Nevada State Athletic Commission. Retrieved July 13, 2006.
- UFC Fighter Salaries for 2006 (includes fighter salaries for UFC 61)
- UFC 61 Surpasses $30 Million in Pay-Per-View Sales