BANGOR, Maine – Ryan Bader said he was going to wear Ovince St. Preux down and finish him at UFC Fight Night 47. He was half right.
Bader won the war of attrition late into the Bangor night, and he won a unanimous decision over the upstart St. Preux. While much of the early fight was spent on the feet, Bader began to implement his wrestling in the later rounds, taking the tired St. Preux to the canvas and doing work there. Though St. Preux gave it a go in the fifth round, taking Bader down momentarily, it was too little too late.
Bader cruised on the scorecards 48-47, 49-46, 49-46. For Bader, it's three wins in a row in the 205-pound division. St. Preux lost his first fight since a 2011 decision against Gegard Mousasi.
In the co-main event, Ross Pearson knocked out Gray Maynard at the 1:35 of the second round, after a pretty even first. Pearson -- who was swapped in for Fabricio Camoes to face Maynard when his original opponent Abel Trujillo got hurt -- used a stick-and-move strategy, and caught Maynard with some heavy shots early. Maynard, who was knocked out in each of his last two fights, was able to overcome the punishment, and was mixing his wrestling into the fray. But it was all for naught. Pearson put together a couple of hard right hands that dropped Maynard in the second, and moments later the referee called an end to the fight.
Pearson now puts the controversial split decision loss that he suffered against Diego Sanchez in June behind him. When asked who he would like to see next, Pearson said anybody in the UFC's lightweight top ten.
Prior to that fight it was a story book homecoming for Tim Boetsch, who returned to his native Maine for the first time in his career. Though he was losing the fight to Brad Tavares -- and was wearing his own blood due to a cut on his eye -- Boetsch came storming back in the second round. He clipped Tavares with a left hand, and then downed him moments later with a right hand that sent the Cross Insurance Center into an uproar. The end came at 3:18 of the second round.
"I've got to say this is one of the better feelings I've ever had in my life," he said afterwards. "This is incredible." Boetsch got back on the right track after losing three of four bouts in the UFC's middleweight division.
The heavyweight fight between Jack May and Shawn Jordan had a few plot twists, but the former LSU fullback Jordan was able to weather a second-round onslaught to get the win. May rocked Jordan with a volley that sent him reeling midway through the round, and was close to finishing the fight on the fence when Jordan grabbed May's leg, wrestled him to the ground and ultimately turned the tables.
Jordan -- whose face a mess afterwards -- took May down again early in the third round and unleashed a violent series of strikes. The TKO came at 2:03 of round 3.
In the preliminary action, a potential No. 1 contender bout between Jussier Formiga and Zach Makovsky turned into a showcase for the Brazilian underdog. Formiga surprised the wrestler Makovsky in the opening round by out-grappling him, and continued to dictate his will in the second round, winning in scrambles and riding Makovsky's back.
The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 for Formiga.
Meanwhile, Sarah McMann finally returned to action some six months after losing her bantamweight title bid against Ronda Rousey, and she made the most of it. She used her wrestling to drag reigning Invicta FC 135-pound champion into a toilsome fight, ultimately taking home a split decision victory. (29-28. 28-29, 29-28).