The Octagon touched down in New Orleans Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 68 and finishes were in strong demand.
It wasn’t the quickest of the 10 finishes, but it might have been the most meaningful, as Dan Henderson knocked out Tim Boetsch in 28 seconds. The former Pride and Strikeforce champion caught Boetsch with a right hand, adding an uppercut and a flurry to earn his 31st career victory.
Henderson stated he had no plans to retire whether he was a winner or loser, but earning his 15th career victory via knockout makes it much easier to continue competing inside the Octagon.
Heavyweights went toe-to-toe for just under two minutes in the co-main event before Ben Rothwell locked up a choke on Matt Mitrione. Rothwell quickly got the tap, and left Jon Anik almost speechless with his post-fight interview in which he stated only “politics” can keep him from the UFC title.
Dustin Poirier gave the Bayou faithful a huge reason to cheer, keeping the string of finishes going with an incredible TKO over Yancy Medeiros in the first round. Poirier, a native of Louisiana, improved to 2-0 inside the Octagon since moving up to 155 pounds.
Brian Ortega and Thiago Tavares appeared to be headed for a tough decision when the former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion landed with a clean shot. Ortega followed up and earned a third round TKO, returning from a suspension for a failed drug test.
In a bout 10-months in the making, Anthony Birchak knocked former Bellator champion Joe Soto out cold in the opening round. The two were expected to fight last year, but UFC officials moved Soto into a title fight opposite T.J. Dillashaw after Renan Barao was forced out on weigh-in day.
Francisco Rivera earned his first win since 2013 when he floored Alex Caceres to start the main card in just 21 seconds. He connected with the left, dropping Caceres and earning his 11th career victory in the process – including his seventh finish.
Louisiana’s own Shawn Jordan earned his second win over Derrick Lewis in the prelim main fight, as the heavyweight scored a finish inside of the first minute of round two. Several years ago, Jordan – a former LSU college football standout – earned a decision over Lewis.
Omari Akhmedov scored a TKO over Brian Ebersole after injuring the leg of Ebersole through the first round. Chris Wade used his wrestling to control Christos Giagos and improve to 10-1 with a decision victory.
Joe Proctor made history, scoring the latest three-round lightweight finish when he submitted Justin Edwards at the 4:58 mark of the third. Proctor and Edwards were close heading to the final round, but Proctor locked up a tight guillotine.
Jose Quinonez kicked off the Fight Pass prelims with a picture-perfect submission, easily taking Leonardo Morales down and locking up a rear-naked choke inside the first round. Also, Jake Collier made his three boys at home brought, pulling out a split decision over Ricardo Abreu.
The “Fight of the Night” went to Ortega and Tavares, while Poirier and Jordan each picked up “Performance of the Night” bonuses. The attendance inside the Smoothie King Center was announced at 6,231 for a live gate of $621,523.
Complete results can be found below:
Dan Henderson def. Tim Boetsch via KO (strikes) at :28 of Round 1
Ben Rothwell def. Matt Mitirone via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:54 of Round 1
Dustin Poirier def. Yancy Medeiros via TKO (strikes) at 2:38 of Round 1
Brian Ortega def. Thiago Tavares via TKO (strikes) at 4:10 of Round 3
Anthony Birchak def. Joe Soto via KO (strikes) at 1:37 of Round 1
Francisco Rivera def. Alex Caceres via KO (strikes) at :21 of Round 1
Shawn Jordan def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (strikes) at :48 of Round 2
Omari Akhmedov def. Brian Ebersole via TKO (injury) at 5:00 of Round 1
Chris Wade def. Christos Giagos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Joe Proctor def. Justin Edwards via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:58 of Round 3
Jake Collier def. Ricardo Abreu via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jose Quinonez def. Leonardo Morales via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:34 of Round 1