Tim Boetsch will head to the Big Easy for his next big challenge in the Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon.
The Lincolnville native is set to fight veteran Dan Henderson of Temecula, California, in a middleweight bout on the main card of UFC Fight Night 68, scheduled for June 6 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The fight will be televised live on Fox Sports 1.
The 34-year-old Boetsch, a former four-time Maine high school wrestling state champion at Camden-Rockport High School in Rockport, has split his last four UFC fights. That includes a second-round knockout victory over Brad Tavares in a homecoming bout last Aug. 16 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Nicknamed “The Barbarian,” Boetsch is coming off a second-round loss via arm-triangle choke submission to Brazilian Thales Leites on the UFC 183 main card held Jan. 31 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Boetsch (18-8) earned a $50,000 bonus for each of those last two outings, for performance of the night in the win over Tavares and as part of the Fight of the Night for his battle with Leites in which he won a grueling first round before getting caught by the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist in the second round.
Boetsch, who trains out of Marcus Davis’ Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer, is ranked 14th in the UFC’s 185-pound weight division.
The 44-year-old Henderson is a former middleweight champion of the Japan-based PRIDE Fighting Championships who has dropped his last two bouts and five of his last six contests. Most of those recent fights were contested as a light heavyweight, though he dropped back down to middleweight for his most recent bout, a first-round technical knockout loss to seventh-ranked Gegard Mousasi on Jan. 24 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The unranked Henderson has a 30-13 overall mixed martial arts record.
UFC Fight Night 68 will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between top-five contenders Daniel Cormier (15-1) and Ryan Bader (19-4).
Cormier, a New Orleans native, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in their Jan. 3 title fight at UFC 182 in Las Vegas.
Bader might be familiar to Maine fans for his unanimous decision victory over Ovince Saint Preux in the main event of the UFC Fight Night card in Bangor.
That effort is part of a four-fight winning streak for Bader, who is ranked fifth among UFC light heavyweights. Cormier is ranked third in the division.
New England Fights will feature the first professional women’s mixed martial arts bout in Maine history on April 11 when Kaline “The Dark Angel” Medeiros (3-4) battles undefeated Calie “The Honey Badger” Cutler (3-0) in a strawweight (115-pound) bout.
The fight will be part of the promotion’s NEF XVII card scheduled for the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
“It’s really sad that it’s taken this long,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo in a press release. “We’re huge fans of women’s MMA in NEF. We’ve tried numerous times to put pro women’s fights together, but they’ve always fallen through.
“We hope the fans will come out and support this fight, support women’s MMA. This is a very proud moment for everyone involved. It is a step in the right direction for MMA in Maine.”
Medeiros, a Brazilian who has been competing in MMA since 2008, previously won the first-ever women’s MMA bout held in Rhode Island in 2013. She fights out of Fall River, Massachusetts.
Cutler, a Michigan native, compiled a 7-1 amateur record and has scored stoppages over each of her previous professional foes.
NEF XVII will be headlined by a battle for the promotion’s lightweight title between reigning champion Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (10-7) and Jamie Harrison (5-1).