Devin Powell’s debut with the Ultimate Fighting Championship ended in defeat Sunday night.
The 28-year-old South Berwick native who now lives in Wells dropped a three-round unanimous decision to Arizona transplant Drakkar Klose in a lightweight battle that closed out the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 103 at Phoenix, Arizona.
Klose, a South Haven, Michigan, native who trains with former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson at the highly regarded MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona, remained unbeaten by sweeping all three rounds on the three judges’ scorecards by identical 30-27 counts.
Klose, who went 7-0 as an amateur, is 7-0-1 in the pro ranks.
“I expected that Powell would bring the fight to me more, so I was surprised that wasn’t what he did,” Klose told UFC.com after the bout. “He’s a tough opponent, though. He has a lot of heart. I’m just looking to fight again as soon as possible. This is where I belong.”
Powell, who was signed to a contract by UFC president Dana White after rallying from a broken nose to score a first-round stoppage of Jon Lemke at last August’s “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight” card at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, drops to 8-2 professionally after having his six-fight winning streak snapped.
The 6-foot Powell had a 3-inch height advantage and a 3-inch reach advantage entering the fight, but the stockier Klose — who took the bout on just three weeks’ notice — used his strength and leverage to force Powell into clinches against the fence, from where he could land knees, elbows and foot stomps.
Klose also scored two takedowns.
Powell landed a few strikes and body kicks but was unable to mount a consistent counterattack.
“For Devin Powell, this is a learning experience,” said UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier during FS1’s live broadcast of the fight.
Souza respects Boetsch’s power
Third-ranked UFC middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza may have had bigger plans for his next fight, but he’s appreciative of the fact Lincolnville native and 14th-ranked Tim Boetsch is willing to take him on at UFC 208, scheduled for Feb. 11 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Souza, 23-4 with one no contest overall and 6-1 with the UFC, was scheduled to fight former UFC champion and second-ranked Luke Rockhold last Nov. 26 but Rockhold pulled out of the fight because of an apparent knee injury.
Souza isn’t buying that reason, but with the likes of sixth-ranked Robert Whitaker injured and fourth-ranked Chris Weidman coming off a knockout loss to No. 1 contender Yoel Romero at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, Boetsch became his next best option.
“This guy is trouble. Tim Boetsch is trouble,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “He has a heavy hand and can complicate anyone, but I will stay focused to put on a great fight and win. His power is incredible. He’s really dangerous. If you blink, you might wake up later wondering what happened.”
Boetsch, 20-10 overall and 11-9 with the UFC, is coming off back-to-back victories that have restored the former four-time state wrestling champion from Camden-Rockport High School to the middleweight rankings for the first time in three years.
“The Barbarian” scored a second-round technical knockout over Josh Samman last July in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, then stopped Rafael Natal by first-round knockout during his most recent outing at UFC 205, the promotion’s first show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.