Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is headed back to "The Big Easy" for the upcoming UFC Fight Night 68 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1, locked and loaded for TONIGHT (Sat., June 6, 2015) inside Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Headlining the "Boetsch vs. Henderson" fight card is Middleweight "Barbarian" Tim Boetsch, who looks to notch the biggest win of his combat sports career by turning former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion Dan "Hendo" Henderson into 185-pounds of jambalaya.
Elsewhere in the FOX Sports 1 line up, which follows "Prelims" on UFC Fight Pass, Heavyweight "Meathead" Matt Mitrione tries to enter the 265-pound title chase by ending the two-fight winning streak of "Big" Ben Rothwell, who also has his eyes on the division prize.
All that and so much more.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 68 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before moving on to the main card, which is slated to start at 10 p.m. ET.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the televised fisticuffs to share their thoughts on all the exciting action. Therefore, feel free to leave a comment (or 68) before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it always turns out to be a great discussion.
Keep in mind we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps and post-fight analysis following "Boetsch vs. Henderson."
Without further delay, see below for the latest UFC Fight Night 68 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.)
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 68 QUICK RESULTS:
Dan Henderson vs. Tim Boetsch -- KO (punches) 0:28 Round 1
Matt Mitrione vs. Ben Rothwell -- Submission (guillotine) 1:54 Round 1
Dustin Poirier vs. Yancy Medeiros -- TKO 2:38 Round 1
Brian Ortega vs. Thiago Tavares -- TKO (punches) 4:10 Round 3
Anthony Birchak vs. Joe Soto -- KO (punches) 1:37 Round 1
Francisco Rivera vs. Alex Caceres -- KO (punches) 0:21 Round 1
Derrick Lewis vs. Shawn Jordan -- TKO (hook kick and punches) 0:48 Round 2
Brian Ebersole vs. Omari Akhmedov -- TKO (retirement) 5:00 Round 1
Christos Giagos vs. Chris Wade -- Decision (unanimous) 29-28, 29-28, 30-27
Justin Edwards vs. Joe Proctor -- Submission (guillotine) 4:58 Round 3
Ricardo Abreu vs. Jake Collier -- Decision (Split) 29-28, 28-29, 29-28
Leonardo Morales vs. Jose Quinonez -- Submission (rear-naked choke) 2:34 Round 1
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 68 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
185 lbs.: Dan Henderson (30-13) vs. Tim Boetsch (18-8)
Round 1: Hendo comes out with the right hand cocked. Boetsch bouncing around and lands a 1-2 before getting dropped by Hendo. Big John jumps in and it's already over.
Final result: Dan Henderson defeated Tim Boetsch via knockout at 28 seconds of Round 1
265 lbs.: Matt Mitrione (9-3) vs. Ben Rothwell (34-9)
Round 1: "Big Ben" offers a glove but Mitrione snubs the common courtesy. Mitrione bouncing well early with his hands down. The two trade but nothing lands. Mitrione lands a heavy 1-2 on Rothwell 45 seconds in. Mitrione leaps in but it was too far away. Rothwell blasts Mitrione and lands a thai plum. Mitrione escapes and lands a kick to the lead leg. Mitrione lands a takedown but Rothwell gets a whizzer and quickly taps out Mitrone with a slick choke that is part guillotine and part old school head lock.
Final result: Ben Rothwell defeated Matt Mitrione via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:54 of Round 1
Catchweight 159.5 lbs. (Medeiros missed weight): Dustin Poirier (17-4) vs. Yancy Medeiros (11-2)
Round 1: The two touch and Medeiros puts his hands up Diaz style. It doesn't impress Poirier. He absolutely levels Yancy twice in quick succession with punches and is pouring on the pressure. Poirier takes Medeiros' back a minute into the fight and this might actually help the Hawaiian recover. Poirier has spent a minute on his opponent's back with little success. Now tries to transition into mount and fails. They're back up. Poirier hurts him badly again with a brutal kick to the body. "Big John" McCarthy very disappointingly steps in early but Medeiros was getting worked badly anyway.
Final result: Dustin Poirier defeated Yancy Medeiros via TKO at 2:38 of Round 1
145 lbs.: Brian Ortega (8-0) vs. Thiago Tavares (19-5-1)
Round 1: Let's see if this fight can escape the first round. The two touch and Tavares goes after Ortega aggressively but gets touched by a counter. Tavares goes for a double leg and lands the easy takedown. Ortega transitions to an armbar and this looks a little dangerous just 45 seconds in. Ortega bails on the armbar and tries a triangle but it's not there. Tavares patiently waits for the submission threats to finish and tries raining down ground and pound. The Gracie black belt continues to threaten underneath Tavares but the Brazilian is in beast mode and the midway mark passes with him still on top. Ortega lands another nasty armbar and this time sweeps into mount, no easy task against a fellow BJJ black belt. Ortega lands elbows to the head of Tavares, who is now bleeding like a stuck pig. Tavares with a slick sweep and he's back on top of Ortega. Ortega scrambles to the cage but Tavares is sticking to him like a blanket. Ortega with a nice combination finishing with a body shot. Tavares is all aggression but he's not getting the better of it. Tavares lands yet another takedown but with submission attempts and cutting open his opponent I have to give it to the guy on the bottom.
Mmamania.com scoring: 10-9 Ortega
Round 2: A replay seems to show that cut on Tavares landed from a hammerfist from the BOTTOM by Ortega. Tavares comes out wild but Ortega with a gorgeous spinning elbow drops Tavares, who goes into wrestling mode. Ortega's back on his butt. Ortega seems to get away with an illegal upkick but Tavares seems fine. The pace is slowing somewhat as Ortega has stopped squirming like a fish and Tavares settles into full guard with 2:45 left. Ortega suddenly leaps to his feet but Tavares effortlessly brings it back down. Tavares is bleeding again badly but now he gets into mount and is absolutely destroying Ortega with ground and pound. Ortega lands a beautiful sweep by throwing his legs up but Tavares is back on top again. It looks like Ortega is losing energy in a hurry and he's sucking wind badly on the bottom. Still, you get the sense you can't sleep on this kid for a second. Tavares stands up and Ortega lands two nasty upkicks from the bottom. Although Ortega dropped Tavares this round he didn't do enough to nullify five minutes of top control for Tavares.
Mmamania.com scoring: 19-19
Round 3: The doctor seriously considered stopping the fight between rounds because Tavares has a new wound on his forehead which is bleeding badly. Fortunately the fight continues despite what looks like a massive gash. Tavares is a gamer and is pushing forward relentlessly. Ortega is getting the worst of it so far and looks pretty winded. Ortega lands a superman punch by jumping off the cage! Tavares shoots in a single leg but can't get this south again and now he's getting countered. Oh no, Tavares lands a terrible knee flush to the balls. But the real concern here is whether they'll look at Tavares' forehead again and stop the fight. The fight continues with 3:15 remaining and Ortega and Tavares trade on the feet. Ortega landing some high volume combinations, sparking a comparison to Nick Diaz. Tavares wisely shoots for a takedown and is briefly successful against the fence. Tavares can't find the advantage and the ref separates them with 1:45. Ortega lands a nasty left and Tavares loses his mouthpiece. Tavares puts it back in and now he's on a mission. These two are banging out now and Tavares is not getting the better of the exchanges. He falls down and he looks to be on queer street. Ortega into mount and Tan Dan calls it a night.
Final result: Brian Ortega defeated Thiago Tavares via TKO at 4:10 of Round 3
135 lbs.: Anthony Birchak (11-2) vs. Joe Soto (15-3)
Round 1: Birchak and Soto opt not to touch em up. The first minute is largely a feeling out process. Birchak finally engages and Soto lands an overhand right. Birchak getting in Soto's face, lands a brutal right hand and Soto falls to the ground. Soto seeks a leg lock and uses the scramble to get back to his feet. Not for long as Birchak swarms Soto and knocks him clean the fugg out. Out cold.
Final result: Anthony Birchak defeated Joe Soto via knockout at 1:37 of Round 1
135 lbs.: Francisco Rivera (10-4) vs. Alex Caceres (10-7)
Round 1: Bruce Leeroy comes out and lands a left body kick right off the bat. Rivera responds by hitting Cacares with a right hook and then dropping him with a brutal left. Dan Miragliotta doesn't wait long to wave it off.
Final result: Francisco Rivera defeated Alex Cacares via knockout at 21 seconds of Round 1
265 lbs.: Derrick Lewis (12-3) vs. Shawn Jordan (17-6)
Round 1: The 2010 rematch is underway. The two touch gloves and Lewis throws a kick that goes nowhere. He comes in hard the second time and presses Jordan against the fence. Jordan gets double underhooks easily and puts Lewis on his back. Lewis works back to his feet while Jordan tries to get it back to the mat. Lewis reverses position and it's classic wall and stall with 3:30 left. Suddenly the two break and throw bombs. Nothing hits. Lewis lands a right kick to the body that's blocked. Jordan rushes in with punches and converts it to takedown number 2. Jordan in a half guard that is wide open. Lewis gets to his knees and just stands back up. Jordan presses him against the cage and Lewis is glistening with sweat already. There's 1:30 remaining and Jordan is putting his 264 pound frame on Lewis while landing knees. Lewis falls down for a reason that's unclear. He gets back up and both fighters throw bricks. Jordan's face is busted open but lands a takedown with 20 seconds left into side control to win the round.
Mmamania.com scoring: 10-9 Jordan
Round 2: Jordan cleaned up between rounds but his left eyebrow looks cut open. Jordan lands an insane right leg heel kick to the head that drops Lewis. Jordan pounces and lands dozens of punches while taking the mount. Lewis rolls onto his stomach and the ref rushes in to save "The Black Beast." There's no protest.
Final result: Shawn Jordan defeated Derrick Lewis via TKO at 48 seconds of Round 2
185 lbs.: Brian Ebersole (51-16-1) vs. Omari Akhmedov (14-2)
Round 1: Brian Stann reminds us that Ebersole hasn't been KOed as he enters his 70th fight. The two touch gloves and Ebersole heads to the outside with his trademark chest hairow. Akhmedov takes the middle of the cage and lands a nasty body kick. He follows that up with a lead leg kick. Ebersole patient and hasn't done much in the first minute. Ahkmedov lands another body kick and Ebersole really can't seem to find an opening. Ebersole tries to throw a kick of his own and falls down. Ahkmedov lands lead leg kicks at will. Ebersole still doing nothing to write home about. Ebersole finally tries a takedown and gets stuffed and eats a massive right hook for his efforts. Ebersole fakes a takedown and Akhmedov smirks. The Russian continues to batter the lead leg and Ebersole looks pretty lost out there. Akhmedov swarms briefly but Ebersole circles away, still looking utterly unconcerned that this is a cage fight with 1 minute left. Akhmedov continues to dominate and this is the easiest round to score all night. Ebersole tells his corner he injured his knee and they call the fight.
Omari Akhmedov defeated Brian Ebersole via TKO (retirement) at 5:00 of Round 1
155 lbs.: Christos Giagos (11-3) vs. Chris Wade (9-1)
Round 1: Both fighters rush to the center of the cage and amazingly Giagos shoots for a takedown on the elite wrestler. It's no good and the two break away. Wade lands two kicks as Giagos engages the clinch and they're both up against the cage. But not for long and they're in the center of the cage with 3:45. Wade ducks under a punch and lands a takedown but it lasts for two seconds before they're back on their feet. Giagos now working a takedown as Wade struggles to find the guillotine. Giagos defends and controls his opponent against the cage with 2:30 remaining. Giagos lands a nice right hand and another that buckles Wade. Giagos notices and goes aggressively but Wade lands a ridiculous hip throw and lands in full mount! Giagos paces himself and lands a beautiful sweep and he's back to his feet! 1:30 remaining and they size one another up. Giagos block a left head kick and returns fire. Wade hits Giagos with a hard right and kicks out his lead leg to send him briefly to the mat. That nasty punch sliced Giagos open and he's bleeding down the right side of his face. The round ends with Wade clinching him against the cage.
Mmamania.com scoring: 10-9 Wade
Round 2: Vaseline stops the bleeding between rounds and they're ready to bang again. Giagos aggressively attacking and seeking the takedown on the better wrestler against the counsel of his corner between rounds. Nice left hook by Giagos but Wade is none the worse for wear. Wade shoots a poor takedown attempt and Giagos sprawls and grabs over/under control as he bleeds all over Wade's back. Chris hits a pro level switch and he's on top. Giagos threatens the guillotine for moments before giving up. Wade in half guard and Giagos is clearly not happy about it as he holds a body lock from the bottom. Giagos with a great underhook and he's back to his feet and pushes Wade into the cage and is now on top of the wrestler with 2 minutes remaining. Giagos now in side control and has a Von Flue choke if he wants it because Wade is holding the guillotine. Wade somehow lifts Giagos up and dumps him on his butt, reversing position. Giagos sucks down gulps of air as Wade works guillotine attempt. Wade tries to sneak onto his back as Giagos gets to his feet and knees to the head force Giagos to "play the game" with the hand on the mat. The round ends with Wade's head thrust in between Giagos' legs looking for the takedown.
Mmamania.com scoring: 20-18 Wade
Round 3: The cut over Giagos' right eye is truly nasty. The two don't touch gloves to start the third. Giagos with a leaping left hook but he looks fatigued. Wade is in full defense so far but it's only because he was looking for the double leg. He settles for a single and Giagos is on his back with 4 minutes left. Wade in half guard but he's really not doing anything. Giagos isn't doing much either since the blood is blinding him and he's really tired. He recovers to full guard as the ref threatens Wade to do something other than throw punches at 10%. Giagos throws up an armbar but it's only so he can escape from his back and it works. They're back upright with 2:15 remaining. Wade lands his third leaping left hook but it's not likely to overcome that takedown. Wade drops levels again and dumps Giagos on his back with 1:20 remaining. Giagos pops back up due to the benefit of the fence and they break away. 1 minute left to do something and the two get into the Greco-Roman clinch against the cage. Giagos is seeking the home run punch but it's not happening. Giagos brawling to the finish but the takedowns are going to win the day.
Mmamania.com scoring: 30-27 Wade
Final result: Chris Wade defeated Christos Giagos via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
155 lbs.: Justin Edwards (8-4) vs. Joe Proctor (10-3)
Round 1: Glove tap and Proctor starts with a kick to the lead leg. Proctor lands another kick giving Edwards a chance to muscle him against the cage and use that strength advantage coming down from 170 pounds. Two hard elbows to Proctor's head and they circle away with 4 minutes left. Edwards rushes in and is landing well. Changes levels and effortlessly drops Proctor on his backside. He bounces back to his feet but Edwards is holding him against the cage with 3 minutes left. Edwards back off and the fighters reset. Edwards with a huge right hand but it was a glancing blow, to quote Jon Anik. Proctor lands a nice combination but Edwards not phased. Edwards eats an uppercut and left hook as Proctor circles away from a rush. He's now landing on Edwards well using the counter. Proctor seems to possess a good speed advantage but Edwards is looking dangerous at this weight class. A hard round to score as the horn sounds. Edwards landed a takedown but Proctor seems to have landed more.
Mmamania.com scoring: 10-9 Edwards
Round 2: Edwards' corner told him he slowed down at the end of the round and they're right. Edwards comes out with more aggression here and is throwing punches in 3s. Edwards really landing combinations early and grabs a front headlock and lands some nasty knees on Proctor's head. Proctor circling and trying to land kicks from range and the pace slows with 3 minutes left. Edwards back to one-punch one-kick attempts. Proctor lands a crazy jump switch kick but Edwards uses it to rush him against the cage. Edwards lands two big right hands and dumps him on his butt with a double leg. He can't keep down the smaller fighter and they're on the ground for less than 5 seconds. Brian Stann points out the obvious. This is a very close fight. Proctor lands a very nice 1-2 after faking a leg kick. Edwards lands a jumping front kick which doesn't appear to faze his opponent. Another close round.
Mmamania.com scoring: 20-18 Edwards
Round 3: Proctor's corner is mad he abandoned the leg kicks that made the first round so close. Edwards brawls Proctor against the cage but appears to eat a left hook that wobbled him. Edwards continues to stalk Proctor and eats counters for his efforts. Edwards takes the damage in order to grab a double leg. It doesn't look like it was worth it and Proctor stuffs it. Now the two are resting against the cage with 3 minutes left. Proctor clearly outlanding Edwards and he uses counters to thwart every attempt to get close to him. Proctor lands a jab and circles away, the story of this third round. Edwards back off and looks confused before he ruses into a double leg and Proctor pulls guard to try a guillotine. Edwards escapes but it allows Proctor to get back to his feet. He eats an elbow on the way out and Proctor tries to work his advantage from range again. Edwards throws an embarrassingly bad spinning back kick and gets mauled for his efforts. He's in really bad trouble and Proctor has a front guillotine. Edwards is completely unconscious, there's nobody home whatsoever.
Final result: Joe Proctor defeated Justin Edwards via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:58 of Round 3
185 lbs.: Ricardo Abreu (5-0) vs. Jake Collier (8-2)
Round 1: Respectful touch of gloves. Collier towers over Abreu with 6-inch reach advantage. Collier unloads against the cage and they circle to the center. Both guys throwing hard 30 seconds into the round. Collier using his reach to good effect early and it's obvious Abreu has to rush in to land anything clean. Collier works on the lead leg before the two wind up in a clinch and Abreu muscles him against the cage with 3:20 left. Wall and stall doesn't last and the two are back in the center. The two trade heavy shots and break away again. Abreu kamikaze attempts actually landing effectively. Collier uses his kicks, clearly not wanting to engage in a brawl with the Brazilian. Round is very even with 1 minute left. Collier continues to milk his reach advantage and seems to be handling the faster pace better. Abreu lands a huge left hand but Collier seems to eat it up well. Collier tries a double leg but gets stuffed.
Mmamania.com scoring: 10-9 Collier
Round 2: Collier working combinations and throws a flying knee early in the round but it's blocked. Abreu's mouth is open but he doesn't looked gassed and is moving well. Collier continues to use those kicks over and over while Abreu throws bombs that mostly miss. No sign of the BJJ skills of the world champion yet because he hasn't attempted to takedown the wrestler. Collier's jabs landing like money with 2:45 left. Abreu grabs a single leg but it's stuffed effortlessly and they go to the cage for some wall and stall. Abreu grabs a body lock but can't capitalize and Collier is soon free with 1:30 remaining. Collier lands a 1-2 and Abreu's face is beginning to look busted up. Abreu lands a nice combination and lands a takedown with 45 seconds left. Abreu works the ribs while stuck in half guard but it looks like time is running out. Abreu ends on top which could influence the judges. Not happening to this armchair judge.
MMamania.com scoring: 20-18 Collier
Round 3: Fighters high five and both go to level 10 energy right away. Abreu looks like he's taken a lactic acid bath but he's still working hard. Abreu hands a really nice combination and double legs Collier to the mat and takes his back with 3:45 to work. Collier uses the fence to get to his feet but Abreu tries to double leg him again. Stuffed and they're back to the center of the cage with 3:20 left. Abreu is mauling Collier now who runs away to recover and launch his own attack. Abreu fends it off and the two size one another up in the center of the cage. Collier looks tired but he's throwing the 1-2. Collier attacks that lead leg and lands three times but Abreu doesn't check he just tries to capitalize on a takedown. Which he lands with 1:45 left. Abreu trying desperately to keep Collier down but it's not happening. Wall and stall with a minute left is thwarted by Collier who presses forward with a combination and Abreu circles away. The two are banging to the finish line, both busted up now and it's a test of cardio and will. 30 seconds left and Collier lands a nice body kick but Abreu is a tank. Collier with a massive uppercut but Abreu lands a two-punch counter. The two are banging like rockem-sockem robots to end the fight as the crowd goes wild. It all hinges on what the judges thought of the second round.
Mmamania.com scoring: 29-28 Collier
Final result: Jake Collier defeated Ricardo Abreu via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Catchweight 137 lbs. (Morales missed weight): Leonardo Morales (4-1) vs. Jose Quinonez (3-2)
Round 1: Touch of gloves. Morales lands two kicks right away. Quinonez engages in the clinch against the cage 25 seconds into the round. Morales fights the takedown by using the cage but Quinonez gets double underhooks and finally lands fully into side control with 4 minutes left to work. Morales recovers his guard and works wrist control on Quinonez but his opponent quickly passes to side control again. Quick transition and Quinonez has Morales' back. Under the neck and it looked deep but Morales survives with 2:30 left in the first. Quinonez sinks under again and gets the tap against the overweight fighter.
Final result: Jose Quinonez defeated Leonardo Morales via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:34 of Round 1