The UFC 166 event slated for Houston on October 19th is filling out nicely, as the UFC has spent this week announcing several matches in support of the Cain Velasquez-Junior Dos Santos 3 main event. A middleweight bout between former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold and rugged veteran Tim Boetsch. Both men harbor title aspirations, but both have suffered setbacks and are more than a win away from title contention. Both are in desperate need of a win to stay relevant, and in Boetsch’s case, it might even mean his UFC job.
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Boetsch had won 4 fights in a row, including wins over Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard, however he has stumbled in his last two outings, taking losses to Cost PHilippou and Mark Munoz, and frankly he never looked spectacular in his wins or his losses. Boetsch needs to break out of his rut and take Rockhold out. A loss combined with a string of roughly half a dozen overall lackluster performances means Boetsch should very much be fighting for his job.
Rockhold is not in that bad of a position, as he is entering his prime at 28 and still has loads of potential. His UFC debut went poorly, as he took on the massive challenge of heading to Brazil to headline on front of a hostile crowd. He was KO’d by Vitor Belfort in less than 3 minutes, and Rockhold has probably been replaying the match and what went wrong in the octagon ever since it happened.
On the physical side, Boetsch may be a bit bigger and thicker than Rockhold, but that wont be much of an advantage, as Rockhold has an edge in overall explosiveness and athleticism.
Unlike against belfort, Rockhold should feel comfortablekeeping the bout on the feet, where he will outpace Boetsch. Boetsch could be a bit too slow for Rockhold over the course of a long fight.
Rockhold has been vocal about taking the loss to Belfort hard, and he should. But will it take him out of his gameplan against a beatable guy like Boetsch? Rockhold is eager to get the taste of the Belfort loss out of his mouth.