Boetsch rallies for TKO in front of partisan home crowdLincolnville native, CRHS grad brings fans to their feet
Bangor — Saturday night certainly was alright for fighting in the Pine Tree State as more than 5,329 screaming fans invaded the Cross Insurance Center Aug. 16 to see the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first foray into Maine for UFC Fight Night 47.
And for those in attendance, particularly Lincolnville native Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch, it was a night they will never forget.
Boetsch, 33, who had lost three of his last four fights heading into his homecoming middleweight bout with Brad Tavares, rallied in the second round and prevailed by way of TKO (technical knockout) at the 3:18-mark.
The win improved Boetsch to 18-7 in his career, while Tavares, who was knocked out for the first time in his professional career, falls to 12-4.
The six main event bouts were seen live on Fox Sports One in 170 countries, while the four preliminary bouts also aired live on Fox Sports Two.
An elbow opened up Boetsch's forehead midway through the first round and it was further exacerbated in round two as Boetsch appeared to be up against the ropes — or rather, the cage of the octagon.
Later in the second round, Boetsch landed a right hand before the referee broke up the two fighters for a stall against the cage.
Boetsch pounced at that point and landed a left hook that sent Tavares to the canvas and decked him seconds later with a right hand.
A few followup shots on the canvas later, the referee stopped the fight, to send the partisan Boetsch home crowd into a frenzy.
“He was doing a pretty good job position-wise holding me against the cage,” said Boetsch. “But I knew I just needed a little bit of space to land those strikes and certainly the ref break and him starting us over [played into that]. The action was slow, so the ref did his job properly, but I think what happened was going to happen eventually anyway.”
Boetsch said he clipped Tavares with a right hand in the first round and “I knew that he was going to run into something and it was going to hurt him pretty bad. And that's what happened.”
Boetsch earned a $50,000 bonus for the "performance of the night."
Perhaps coincidentally, a “Tim” chant broke out in the second round, which may have helped facilitate the 1999 Camden-Rockport High School graduate and four-time state wrestling champion's comeback.
Boetsch said the crowd reaction overall was amazing.
“I definitely had to dial it in just walking out to the cage because the energy was just overwhelming before the fight even started,” he said. “Then once I started to turn the tide a little bit, I definitely could feel the energy and it was just awesome. It was a great opportunity to be able to fight so close to home and finishing things the way I did, it definitely feels good.”
Boetsch connected on 40-of-56 total strikes (72 percent) to 37-of-70 (53 percent) for Tavares and also led 14-of-28 (50 percent) to 24-of-56 (42 percent) in significant strikes. The Lincolnville native also held a 1-0 edge in takedowns.
UFC president Dana White, a 1987 Hermon High School graduate, was happy not only for Boetsch, but for the fact that the card came together in the Queen City, despite it not “making financial sense” to do so.
The gate brought in $321,470, while a typically UFC fight will draw a million dollars or more.
“The crowd was great tonight,” said White. “I think the people who came here tonight understood how hard it was to get this thing here and what it took to do it, and they were awesome.
“I'm happy we were able to do it and for a guy like Tim, to be able to fight at this point in his career in front of his hometown and to pull of what he pulled off tonight, it was really important and special for me and I know it was for him too.”
Boetsch did not have the only fight on the card, as nine other bouts took place, with the main event which saw eighth-ranked Ryan “Darth” Bader earn a five-round decision over No. 10 Ovince Saint Preux in the light heavyweight division.
The main event between Bader and Saint Preux was a five-round affair, while all other fights of the evening were three rounds. Each round is five minutes in length.
The third of the evening's three biggest bouts saw Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson earn a second-round knockout over Gray “The Bully” Maynard.
Alan “Brahma” Jouban earned a first-round TKO over Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski, while Shawn “The Savage” Jordan earned a third-round TKO over Jack “The Outlaw” May and Thiago Tavares a first-round submission victory over Robbie “Problems” Peralta to wrap up the main card.
In the prelim bouts, all of which went the distance, Frankie Saenz beat Nolan Ticman, Tom “Kong” Watson beat Sam “Smile'n” Alvey, Sara McMann beat Lauren Murphy and Jussier Formiga beat Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky.
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. Haskell, who is also the host of VStv's Sports Fix Roundtable, has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark loves the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, iced coffee and the AMC drama "Breaking Bad."
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn, his sons Beckett and Austin and daughter Lila.
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