Ed “Short Fuse” Herman used a clean right knee to the chin to score a second-round technical knockout of Maine native Tim Boetsch in a light heavyweight mixed martial arts bout on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 81 on Sunday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
The fight was televised live by Fox Sports 1.
The win improved Herman’s record to 24-11 with one no contest overall, 10-7 in the UFC. Boetsch — a native of Lincolnville and graduate of Camden-Rockport High School in Rockport — fell to 18-10 overall and 9-9 against UFC competition after absorbing his third consecutive loss and sixth defeat in his last eight contests.
The decisive knee came as the combatants were locked in a clinch away from the Octagon wall, one of the few times Herman and Boetsch came together during a bout that otherwise was largely a striking duel.
Boetsch immediately fell to the mat, and as Herman prepared to throw follow-up strikes, veteran New England referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in and stopped the contest at 1:39 of the second round.
“I’m pretty confident in my dirty boxing,” Herman told FS1 announcer Joe Rogan immediately after the fight. “Once we clinched up, he wasn’t moving a lot, so I felt the knee was there. The knee was there earlier and it was there again, so I went for it, and it landed for me clean.”
Neither Boetsch — who trains out of Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer — nor Herman had competed as a light heavyweight in years; Boetsch since 2010 and Herman since 2005.
Boetsch weighed in at 206 pounds during Friday’s weigh-ins, and Herman was at 204.5 pounds.
Boetsch was seen by observers at the scene as the winner of a relatively close first round, landing several clean right-hand strikes as the fighters remained standing for the entire five minutes.
But Herman, who trains out of Portland, Oregon, had some success when the fighters clinched during the opening round, a sign of things to come.
Herman used his left jab to keep Boetsch at bay early in the second round before forcing Boetsch into a clinch against the Octagon wall.
Herman then brought Boetsch out toward the middle of the cage where he had more space to do business.
As he held Boetsch’s arms, the runner-up of the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter” television series in 2005 came up the middle with a clean right knee that landed directly on Boetsch’s chin and sent the former high school All-American wrestler down immediately.
“I worked really, really hard for this fight,” said Herman. “I had a lot of great people helping me out. The awesome fans here in Boston got me excited to fight hard. I know it’s a fight town, so I’m happy to put on a good show for these guys.”