Dan Henderson laughs at your feeble attempts to force him into retirement.
The only man ever to hold simultaneously hold major world titles in multiple weight classes came out with guns blazing Saturday night in New Orleans.
The 44-year old Henderson (31-13) clocked Tim Boetsch (18-9) early with one of his patented "H-bomb" right hands to the jaw, then finished the job soon thereafter. Henderson won the main event of UFC Fight Night 68 via TKO in just 28 seconds.
"Obviously, I can't feel bad about that one," Henderson said. "Its nice, when I say ‘I'm not done' and no one believes me, to actually come out and prove i'm not quite done yet."
The beginning of the end came when Henderson cracked Boetsch with a right hand to the jaw. That didn't drop him, but Henderson followed up with a knee in the clinch, a right uppercut to the jaw which floored Boetsch, and a final flurry before John McCarthy waved off the bout.
Henderson, the former PRIDE 183 and 205-pound champ, stopped a two-fight losing skid.
"I wasn't going to let him off the hook," Henderson said. "I knew I had him there and I wanted to make sure I got the job done."
Mitrione charged at Rothwell in a wild takedown attempt, but Rothwell successfully defended the attempt and turned it into a front choke. Rothwell earned the submission at 1:54 for his third consecutive victory, all of which have come via finish.
"I managed to flatten him out and as he recovered, his neck was wide open," Rothwell said. "People will see, if you leave your neck open for a second, I'm going to catch you."
Louisiana native Dustin Poirier (18-4) came out looking like he had something to prove in front of his home-state fans, as he took on Yancey Medeiros (11-3, 1 NC) in a bout contested at a catchweight 159.5 after Medeiros missed weight.
Poirier landed early, landed often, and nearly finished the fight from the get-go. While Medeiros survived the early onslaught, he had no answer when Poirier landed a withering body kick, then followed with another violent flurry, Medeiros was out on his feet when referee John McCarthy waved off the bout for a TKO at 2:35.
"I thought I'd sink a choke in and submit him, but when I landed that body kick I knew I had him," Poirier said. "He's a tough dude though, I hit him harder than I've ever hit anyone in my life and he still wouldn't go down."
Thiago Tavares and Bryan Ortega put on a thrilling featherweight brawl before Ortega scored a late victory. Ortega, a former RFA champion, opened a nasty cut over Tavares' right eye early in the fight, one which caused the bout to nearly be stopped by the doctor at the end of the second round.
But that simply led to a wild final round, one which included Tavares landing a violent knee to Ortega's groin, before Ortega finally finished things off with a huge flurry of strikes and earned the TKO at 4:10 of the final round.
"It wasn't very close," Ortega said. "He was beating me by points, but that last minute means everything. I know I have to work on my wrestling. It's three five minute rounds, and you have to fight all of it. I don't really remember the finish. He kneed me and that hurt, but I saw that he was tired."
Soto, the inaugural Bellator featherweight champ, was placed into a UFC 177 title fight with T.J. Dillashaw at the last minute after Renan Barao had to pull out the day before the fight. But Birchak made his wait worthwhile, as a wild flurry of punches caused Soto to faceplant and brought the bout to a halt at 1:37.
"This is something I just want to do right here, be a bull and come forward," Birchak said. "Joe Soto was a world champion, he's fought for gold, so I trained for a champion basically. He brought the best out of me. I'm on cloud nine right now."
Francisco Rivera (11-4, 1 NC) made his case for a crack at higher competition with a 21-second knockout of Alex Caceres. In his first fight since a highly controversial loss to Urijah Faber last year, the Buena Park, Calif. bantamweight cracked Caceres with a left hand to the jaw, then landed several more big shots on the ground before the referee waved it off, sending Caceres to his third straight loss.
Rivera got emotional after the bout in talking about his training camp sacrifices.
"I'm really emotional right now," Rivera said. "Being hurt in camp made things hard, but more importantly, my mom moved back to Arizona so I didn't have a full time baby sitter. I haven't seen in my kids in weeks, I cry every night. This is the first time I've gone this long without seeing them. I just really, really needed this. You have no idea."
Showing flexibility which belies his physique, Jordan tagged Lewis with a hook kick which landed flush on the jaw early in the second round. This wobbled Lewis and led to a big finishing flurry on the ground. Jordan (18-6) got the TKO at 48 seconds of the round for his third straight win.
"I want to get guys in the top 10. I did well, so I hope I get another opponent quick," Jordan said.
"He kept dropping his right hand, so I went on a whim and tried the kick and it worked out pretty well."
Akhmedov peppered Ebersole with leg kicks throughout the first round of their welterweight matchup, leading to a knee injury of some sort. Ebersole was unable to answer the bell for round two, so the bout went into the books as a TKO.
"I'm old, everything hurts," Ebersole said. "Lifetime of wrestling takes a toll on you, getting your head pulled, knees banged up - I'm going to leave it to the young guys now. That's it for me."
The 34-year-old Ebersole, an Indiana native who relocated to Australia, finishes with a career record of 51-17-1 (1NC). Akhmedov (15-2) won for the third time in four UFC fights.
At lightweight, Long Island's Chris Wade (10-1) stayed unbeaten in the UFC with a unanimous-decision victory over Christos Giagos (11-4). In a tightly contested fight, Wade held off Giagos' strong third round to win on a pair of 29-28 scores and a 30-27.
The victory was Wade's fifth straight and improved him to 3-0 in the UFC.
"Getting a win over a tough opponent like that was a test to my will," Wade said. "It was a lot of back and forth. I thought my standup improved. I would say this was my best performance. I think I put it all together a little bit more."
With the clock winding down in what had been a close fight, Proctor rocked Edwards with a combo, applied a standing guillotine, then took it to the mat. While there, Proctor adjusted his grip and put Edwards out, ending the fight at 4:58. That marked the latest submission finish for a three-round fight in UFC history.
Proctor (11-3) has won three of his past four fights; Edwards (8-5) has dropped his past three.
"I didn't know that was the latest submission finish until Jon Anik said it in the Octagon," Proctor said. "Now that I know, I think it's unbelievable to have my name in the record books."