LAS VEGAS — Former Camden-Rockport High School wrestling standout Tim Boetsch used his wrestling skills to turn in a dominating performance with a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 and 30-27 by the judges) over Kendall Grove on the UFC 130 undercard Saturday night before a national TV audience on the Spike network.
Boetsch, 30, was in control throughout the mixed martial arts match as he repeatedly took the taller Grove, who won the title on Spike’s Ultimate Fighter 3 (third season) to get into the UFC, down to the mat in the grueling three-round middleweight matchup. Boetsch used his strength advantage to control Grove, who, at 6-foot-6, was six inches taller than Boetsch, who dropped down from 205 pounds and light heavyweight status to 185 to fight as a middleweight Saturday.
According to round-by-round accounts from SBNation online and mmafighting.com, Boetsch dominated the fight from start to finish.
Boetsch took control of the fight early, forcing Grove to the mat with a knee tap-takedown. Grove tried to catch Boetsch in a half guard, but Boetsch stood out of it. After the two fighters locked in a clinch, Boetsch pulled Grove’s legs out from under him and recaptured a full guard. The first round ended with the fighters separating after jockeying for position against the fence.
In the second round, Grove went on the offensive with an outside leg kick, but Boetsch leaped in and missed with a left jab. After clinching against the fence, Boetsch took side control with a hard outside trip takedown and delivered some body shots via hard, short elbow strikes from the top. Grove was able to lean and stand, but Boetsch pulled him down again and retook side control. Grove tried to stand again, but Boetsch dragged him back and shrugged off a triangle attempt by Grove.
In the final round, Boetsch ducked a jab and turned the corner twice to drag Grove to the mat. Grove was able to get back on his feet, but had his back to the fence. Grove managed to get Boetsch’s back to the fence and started delivering some driving punches, but Boetsch made a fancy move to put Grove back on the floor.
Grove stood up again and tried to separate, using a nice jab. Boetsch was able to get Grove to the mat another time and also got out of a Grove takedown, reversed and locked Grove up a front head lock.
Boetsch improved his UFC record to 4-3 and his overall pro mixed-martial arts record to 13-4. His strong performance on Spike may lead to a contract renewal with UFC as he said before the fight that he needed that kind of effort.
“Absolutely. This is the last fight on my contract, so I want to win and have it be a decisive win,” Boetsch said.