Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch: Round 1
Boetsch dips inside for a single-leg and is spun around by the lanky “Spyder.” The second attempt yields a better result and Boetsch stuffs Grove down against the base of the fence. Boetsch grinds there a minute and then backs out, allowing Grove to stand. The middleweights trade teep kicks and clinch up, where Boetsch drops Grove with a smooth double and takes side control. Grove shrimps and Boetsch deals him a few punches to the back of the head, for which he is verbally warned by ref Steve Mazzagatti. Grove throws up his legs for an armbar, forcing Boetsch to retreat. The “Barbarian” stands over Grove, who kicks at Boetsch’s knees from his back. Boetsch lets him up and they engage against the fence with over-unders. Grove gets a front headlock and knees to the thigh and gut of Boetsch, who extracts his head with about 90 seconds remaining. Boetsch is breathing heavy as he tries to neutralize the more active Grove in the clinch. Grove scores with knees to the stomach and one up high. Another lands to the body of Boetsch at the horn.
Round 2: The middleweights find themselves back in the clinch after a moment of light exchanging. Grove scores with a few strikes in close quarters, but Boetsch decides to take it to the floor and does so at will. Hard, short right hands score as Boetsch leans from Grove’s left to right in side control. Grove gets to his knees and stands, but is single-legged straight back down. Grove appears to be cut near the right eye as he struggles beneath the powerful wrestler. Boetsch has head-and-arm control on Grove as the Hawaiian works to his feet. Grove uses the fence and a wide base to stuff a single-leg with a minute on the clock. A few elbows to the side later, Boetsch gets his way and Grove is again on his back. They and Grove has a long high kick blocked as the round ends.
Round 3: Boetsch drags Grove down with a high single inside the first 20 seconds. Grove gets back up and finds himself pinned to the cage. He reverses the position and puts a few hard right hands on Boetsch’s face. Boetsch gets his hips in front, though, and tosses Grove to the ground. Grove is on his knees now with Boetsch looking to hop on his back. He can’t get there and instead knees to Grove’s body. Grove finds an opening and scrambles up with three minutes left in the fight. Thirty seconds later, Grove is on his back once more. He throws up a triangle; it’s not tight, but it’s enough to get Boetsch to stand. Another easy takedown from Boetsch and Grove is now sporting a more significant cut beneath his right eye. Boetsch lays in half-guard on Grove’s right side, framing up the far-side arm. Grove scrambles up and executes a double-leg of his own on the fence, but Boetsch quickly sweeps and grabs a headlock. The match ends with Boetsch bullying Grove on the cage.
Official scores: All three judges — Adalaide Byrd, Junichiro Kamijo and Patricia Morse-Jarman — have it 30-27 for Tim Boetsch, who takes a unanimous decision in his middleweight debut.