Yesterday came word of a top Japanese fighter getting his place on the UFC 144 card in Japan. Today, another one was booked for the card, and he's going to be facing a Barbarian on February 26th. UFC.com with the info:
"Undefeated since dropping down to middleweight, Tim ‘The Barbarian’ Boetsch has verbally agreed to face top three ranked Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami February 26th in Tokyo, Japan," said UFC President Dana White.
Okami will fight in Japan for the first time in almost six years when he steps into the octagon to face Boetch. His last fight on home soil was a TKO win over Izuru Takeuchi in June of 2006, the fight before he signed with the UFC. Okami is currently training in Japan with a litany of top fighters including Dong Hyun Kim, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Boetsch dropped to middleweight after a lopsided loss to Phil Davis at UFC 123 and has looked quite impressive so far. He thoroughly beat down both Kendall Grove and Nick Ring to take unanimous decisions in both bouts. This is a gigantic step up in competition for The Barbarian though.