Bangor-area fighter Bruce Boyington is not a grappler by nature.
So when he scored a second-round takedown during his nationally televised mixed martial arts bout at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island, on Friday night, it became a disadvantage.
Local favorite Nate “The Snake” Andrews, fighting from his back, soon cinched in a triangle choke on Boyington that forced a tapout at 2:14 of the second round of their scheduled three-round lightweight clash on the main card of CES 45.
The victory was the fifth straight since August 2014 for the 33-year-old Andrews, an East Providence, Rhode Island, product who now is 11-1 with all his victories coming by submission (six) or knockout (five).
“I got the job done here,” said Andrews during AXS-TV’s post-fight interview in the cage. “I knew if I was having a hard time on the feet with him trying to figure out out his kicks I’d try to use wrestling and my jiu-jitsu. He actually went for the wrestling and I was shocked at first but then composed myself and used my jiu-jitsu.”
The loss was the third straight after five consecutive wins for Boyington, who drops to 14-11. The fighters who have defeated the 38-year-old “Pretty Boy” during that losing streak — Andrews, undefeated Andre Harrison and Musa Khamanaev — boast a combined record of 47-6.
Boyington came out in the opening round against Andrews looking to land the spinning kicks for which the second-degree black belt in taekwondo is known, but he couldn’t get close enough to do significant damage save for a grazing blow to the head.
Twice he slipped while attempting kicks, enabling Andrews to gain positional advantage.
“I knew he had amazing kicks,” said Andrews. “He’s a tough dude, he’s a veteran, he’s been in the game for a while, he’s had a lot of fights.The good news is there’s a lot of footage so I was able to see that he throws a lot of those kicks and they come out fast.
“He landed one in the first round and I saw it coming but still got grazed with it a little.”
Boyington’s best strike of the fight was a right hand to the side of the head three minutes into the first round that briefly stunned Andrews, but Andrews soon was able to land a low kick as Boyington was attempting a spinning high kick, knocking his opponent off balance long enough to take Boyington’s back.
Andrews made five attempts to end the fight with a rear naked choke late in the first round, but Boyington was able to thwart each attempt.
Andrews landed 16 strikes in the opening round compared to eight for Boyington, according to AXS-TV statistics.
A similar clash of kicks early in the second round concluded with Boyington scoring a takedown and taking top position. He was able to land several right hands, but eventually Andrews was able to draw Boyington into position to apply his fight-ending submission hold.