“The Barbarian” had a big night in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Lincolnville native Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch used a right leg kick to the head to set up a second-round technical knockout over hometown favorite Johny “Big Rigg” Hendricks in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 112 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Camden-Rockport High School graduate was awarded a $50,000 performance of the night bonus for his effort, and he also got 20 percent of Hendricks’ paycheck after the former UFC welterweight champion failed to make the weight limit for the scheduled three-round middleweight (185-pound) contest.
The win was the third in the last four fights for the 36-year-old Boetsch, now 21-11 overall and 12-10 in the UFC.
Hendricks, from nearby Ada, Oklahoma, fell to 18-7 overall, 13-7 in the UFC.
“My last fight I deviated from the plan a little bit and it cost me big time,” said Boetsch, referring to a first-round submission loss to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in February at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “I thought tonight to make sure I stayed disciplined and do exactly what I trained to do and you see the results.”
The end of the contest came at 46 seconds of the second round, 15 seconds after Boetsch stunned his opponent with a kick to the head that sent Hendricks to the cage wall. He then followed up with a series of right uppercuts that prompted referee Kevin McDonald to end the bout.
“Who knows how long (Boetsch) can still be here beating people up?” said UFC color analyst Dominick Cruz on FS1 after the nationally televised bout. “He’s extremely good, extremely strong. He’s making different reads now to finish people. We haven’t seen a lot of head kicks out of Boetsch and now he’s finishing people different ways.”
Boetsch established his striking game, including frequent kicks to the body and legs, during a relatively close first round as he circled away from the left-handed Hendricks’ formidable hooks.
“You don’t get a safe feeling in the cage with him,” said Boetsch during his televised postfight interview. “That left hand just missed my face a couple of times and I knew I definitely didn’t want to take that.
“I was going to the body and the legs early in the fight and I got a slight reaction,” he added, “so I sent it in high (in the second round) and it made its mark. Perfect.”
Boetsch landed 42 of his 69 strike attempts, or 61 percent, during the fight compared to just 10 of 45 (22 percent) for Hendricks.
The 33-year-old Hendricks, who defeated Robbie Lawler to win the UFC welterweight title in 2014, lost for the fourth time in the last five fights and also failed to make weight for the third time in his last four outings.
Boetsch weighed in Saturday at 186 pounds — there is a one-pound allowance — while Hendricks weighed in at 188.
The $50,000 postfight bonus was the third of Boetsch’s career.
“I’m the type of guy who will take whoever is sent my way,” he said. “I feel like I’m getting better every fight so let’s keep it going as long as we can.”
Powell falls by split decision
A second Mainer on the Oklahoma City card, 29-year-old lightweight Devin Powell of Wells, lost by split decision to Darrell “The Saint” Horcher of Shermans Dale, Pennsylvania, in a preliminary-card contest televised by FS2.
Both fighters were making their second UFC appearance.
Horcher, fighting for the first time since a near-fatal motorcycle accident in May 2016 that resulted in reconstructive ACL surgery on both knees, took top position for much of the first two rounds, then withstood a series of submission attempts by Powell in the final period to earn the narrow victory on the judges’ scorecards and improve his record to 13-2 (1-1 UFC).
Powell, who also has family in the Allagash region, fell to 8-3 overall, 0-2 in the UFC.
“Devin’s tough, there’s no quit in him, but sometimes when you’re coming back from what I was coming back from, you’ve just got to fight smart,” said Horcher after the fight on the telecast.
“I tried to be exciting, I worked for a finish, but if you can’t get it you’ve got to win.”
The first 2 1/2 minutes of the first round were fairly even until Powell tripped Horcher for a takedown only to have Horcher immediately roll into top position, status he retained for the remained of the period.
Horcher was more aggressive after scoring a takedown of Powell midway through the second round, with Powell slipping after absorbing a left hand from Horcher that bloodied his nose.
Powell seemingly needed a stoppage in the final round the earn the victory, and the Marshwood High School of Eliot graduate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt spent the last three minutes of the match attempting to apply a succession of submission holds only to have Horcher successfully defend against them.
Horcher won the bout 29-28 on two of the three judges’ scorecards, while Powell — who was awarded a UFC contract based on his performance last August during a “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight” show in Bangor — won 29-28 on the third scorecard.
“The split decision kind of threw me off, I thought for sure I had (rounds) one and two,” said Horcher. “Like I said it was a tough fight and I did what I had to do and I got the ‘W.’”