UFC Fight Night 47, otherwise known as UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St Pruex, was not among the more star-studded shows of the UFC calendar. But it had a few bright spots to offer Bangor, Maine fans.
First and foremost, the night was capped off by the chance to see two light heavyweight fringe contenders go to battle in the main event. Second was the chance to see one of their own, Tim Boetsch, fight for the first time in front of his hometown fans on the undercard.
The main event? It was so-so. Action never dulled enough for the fans to begin boo’ing, but it was never compelling enough to be called memorable. The rising star Ovince St Preux struggled to impose his unorthodox striking game, and veteran Ryan Bader’s superior footwork and wrestling carried the day. Sprinkle in enough counter-punching and strikes on the mat, and you’ve got a clear unanimous decision win for the guy they call “Darth” Bader.
“I wasn’t as sharp as I wanted to be out there,” Bader would later admit. “But I got the win, and that’s what it’s all about.”
More memorable was Bangor’s hometown boy Tim Boetsch, and his round two TKO victory over Hawaii’s Brad Tavares in a comeback victory at middleweight.
Tavares dominated the early going, landing the superior strikes and dominating the clinch. But a big left hook from Boetsch turned everything around. He followed up with a right as Tavares staggered backwards, and it was all over at 3:18 of the stanza.
“It felt amazing,” Boetsch would remark later. “To finish him like that in front of the hometown crowd was awesome.”
Regarding the rough early going, Boetsch recalled: “I felt very comfortable, even though he was winning the positioning battle early.”
In truth, Tavares, who entered the cage a -280 favorite, dominated all aspects of the bout in that first stanza — but there’s just no margin of error when fighting an opponent who boasts Boetsch’s proven punching power (wearing MMA’s notorious five ounce gloves).
The night’s co-main event saw Ross Pearson defeat Gray Maynard, in a bout that seemed to show more about Maynard’s deteriorating chin than Pearson’s improvement. After a competitive first round, Pearson finally caught Maynard’s as he predicted. The referee stepped in at 1:35 of round two, marking Maynard’s third loss by stoppage in his last four bouts.