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Okami vs. Boetsch Added to UFC 144 in Japan on February 26

(Tim who?)

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has chosen a somewhat curious opponent for Yushin Okami for his next fight, considering that the only losses he’s had in the past three years came against arguably the number one and number two middleweights in the world.

The promotion announced today that Okami will lock horns with Tim Boetsch when the Octagon returns to “The Land of the Rising Sun” for UFC 144 on February 26.

In his last five bouts, “Thunder” only losses came against Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva. During that span, he also beat Mark Munoz, Nate Marquardt and Lino Linhares.

Having beaten Kendall Grove and Nick Ring — both by decision — in his last two outings since dropping to middleweight, Boetsch has not faced the level of competition that Okami has at 185. Prior to his latest two-fight win streak, “The Barbarian” was stopped by Phil Davis’ patented “Philmura” at UFC 123.

UFC 144 will also feature a main event featherweight championship bout between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.


UFC 144
Saitama Super Arena
Saitama, Japan
February 26, 2011

Lightweight Championship Bout
Frankie Edgar  vs. Benson Henderson

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson  vs. TBA

Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields


Cagepotato Comments

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ywang- January 10, 2012 at 10:50 am
JaredB- November 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm
being more stronger* doyyy, i meant being more athletic and stronger. God.
JaredB- November 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm
Boetsch wins this by being more stronger and controlling him physically. Okami is pretty overrated with a very padded record, his chin is questionable, he's not great in any one area and his striking is basically slow motion. The internet loves to champion him since they want to see a Japanese fighter do well in the UFC, but the fact is most of his wins come against "luminaries" such as Rory Singer, Dean Lister, Mike Swick (actually one of his better wins), and Lucio Linhares. We can stop that "Yushin is a huge MW" talk now too, no he isn't. Maybe in 2007 but a lot of former 205 pound fighters have dropped weight classes since then, strength and conditioning and the science of weight cutting in the sport has improved, and Anderson Silva looked a whole weight class bigger than Okami back in Rio.
whiterice- November 16, 2011 at 10:06 am
As Fried Taco said, the matchup really isn't that curious. They want one of the hometown boys to win, and it doesn't look like Akiyama has a great chance.

Sometimes these strategic matchups hinder a fighter, but I've always liked Okami, I hope he gets to show off why he belongs at least near the top.
Motivated Penn- November 16, 2011 at 9:06 am
Okami seems to be enjoying a particularly riveting game of Starcraft there.
XENOPHON- November 16, 2011 at 8:17 am
That's a dam good question...besides that fucked up tattoo, Belcher always brings it, and since he last fought in mid September - with the 2 fight a year norm for Zuffa, I'd expect to see Alan on deck around April.
ElDandy- November 16, 2011 at 8:04 am
When the hell is Belcher getting a fight. I thought for sure he would get the Okami fight. What top 10 MW's are left besides Maia
XENOPHON- November 16, 2011 at 6:52 am
Boetsch - and - Okami are the same age, but Tim is smaller. Okami its often said is extremely strong, and has twice as many fights, with higher caliber fighters. I like Boetsch, but think this will be a good fight none the less.
I wonder who "Drano the Lamo" is taking?
Me likey- November 16, 2011 at 5:45 am
boetsch is big but okami is huge at 185. boetsch did drop from 205 but he carried a lot of excess bulk at that weight.
rockhuddy- November 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm
Still remember Boetsch's first UFC fight, where he just streamrolled David Heath. Beast for sure.
TKRomeo- November 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm
Rampage vs Forrest Griffin, calling it now.
smokerastadub- November 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Boetsch is a beast at middleweight, expect an upset
Todd M- November 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Umm I thought Aldo was fighting Mendes in Rio, and I think Tim has a shot at this, I'm interested to see how Yushin returns after such a devastating loss.
Irishwolfhound491- November 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm
Between this and Akiyama Belfort before I'm wondering what is going on with the 185 division.
Goat- November 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm
Tim is going to upset Okami - period. He's larger and stronger than Okami, and has primo judo and is tougher than nails.

Boetsch by UD
Mike Russell- November 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm
@Xanderschultz: See PRIDE highlights to the answer to your questions.
Xanderschultz- November 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm
Looks like a great card so far. That lightweight matchup is going to be electric. Do they have a commission that roids test in Japan? If not, this could be the UFC's chance to really stack a card and pile on all the roidmonkeys. Thiago Silva, Barnett, Arona, etc. all on one card!
Fried Taco- November 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm
Obviously DW wants to have at least one Japanese fighter actually win on the card.