Click below for the UFC 135 prelim card report....
DENVER, September 24 – Tim Boetsch got off to a slow start in his middleweight bout against The Ultimate Fighter vet Nick Ring Saturday at Pepsi Center, but he picked up the pace as the fight went on, handing his opponent his first pro loss via unanimous decision in UFC 135 prelim action. See post-fight interview
“I’m loving middleweight so far,” said Boetsch, who is now 2-0 in the division.
Scores were 29-28 twice and 30-27.
Ring frustrated Boetsch with his rapid backpedaling around the Octagon for much of the first round, and when he was able to get “The Barbarian” to the mat, his control there was enough to earn the opening frame.
Boetsch finally landed with a right hand of significance in the first minute of round two, but he wasn’t able to follow-up on the head-snapping blow. Midway through the round, Boetsch was able to pin Ring against the fence, and after sinking in a guillotine choke, he pulled guard. After a few moments, Ring escaped and eventually got back to his feet. Boetsch was gaining momentum though, and Ring’s backpedaling now looked to be the strategy of a hurt and tired fighter, one who got slammed to the mat just before the bell.
In complete control in round three, Boetsch got a roar out of the crowd with a high-flying throw of Ring that rocked the Octagon. And while he didn’t finish Ring, he certainly finished the fight with an emphatic bang that made the judges’ call that much easier.
With the win, Boetsch improves to 14-4; Ring falls to 12-1.
FERGUSON vs. RILEY
It was déjà vu all over again for veteran lightweight Aaron Riley, as a jaw injury similar to the one he suffered in his 2006 loss to Spencer Fisher caused the stoppage of his bout with The Ultimate Fighter season 13 winner Tony Ferguson after the first round. See post-fight interview
After a busy opening with solid work from both men, Ferguson rocked Riley with a left uppercut midway through the round, apparently breaking the veteran’s jaw. After shaking off the shot, Riley got right back to work, but it was the stalking Ferguson who looked to be in control, and by the end of the round, it was clear that Riley was in no condition to continue, and the fight was waved off due to the injury, giving Ferguson the victory.
With the win, Ferguson improves to 13-2; Riley falls to 29-13-1.
ASSUNCAO vs. YAGIN
Returning featherweight Junior Assuncao didn’t win over any fans with his methodical attack against newcomer Eddie Yagin, but he got the victory in his first UFC bout in four years. See post-fight interview
The unanimous decision for Assuncao read 30-26 twice and 30-27.
The crowd didn’t waste much time letting Assuncao (14-4) and Yagin know how they felt about the lack of action in the opening round, booing consistently between the two takedowns by Assuncao that accounted for much of the significant scoring in the first five minutes.
If anything, things got worse in round two, with a brief guillotine choke attempt from Yagin (15-5-1) on an Assuncao takedown providing the only drama of the stanza.
Yagin almost sunk in the guillotine the second time around in round three, but Assuncao pulled free and proceeded to score with ground strikes on his trapped opponent for the rest of the fight to secure his first Octagon win since beating David Lee at UFC 70.
MIZUGAKI vs. ESCOVEDO
A slow starting battle of Octagon control turned into a slugfest in the final 90 seconds, with Escovedo using thudding knees and long-range punches while Mizugaki countered with punches to the head that had the crowd roaring.
In the second though, Mizugaki (15-6-2) turned up the heat behind a vicious body attack that opened up Escovedo (17-8) for the head shots to follow. Three knockdowns later, referee Adam Martinez had seen enough, awarding the bout to Mizugaki via second round TKO at the 4:30 mark.
TE HUNA vs. ROMERO
Te Huna’s right hand was his weapon of choice from the outset, not surprising, considering that he admitted to breaking a finger in his left hand in the lead-up to the fight. After Te Huna rocked and dropped the New Jersey native with an uppercut in the first exchange of the fight, Romero survived the ensuing follow-up, but missed badly on a couple of takedown attempts. On the last failed attempt, Te Huna crushed Romero with a right hand, and after a couple more shots, referee Tim Mills called a stop to the fight at the 47 second mark.
With the win, Te Huna ups his record to 15-5; Romero falls to 11-3.