Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
If you were given the biggest opportunity of your life and came up short, how much motivation would you have the next time you had to go to work? Welcome to Yushin Okami's world. On one side you have an incredibly talented fighter who just can't climb that final hurdle, and on the other side you have...Redneck Judo! Yushin Okami (26-6, 10-3 UFC) meets Tim Boetsch (14-4, 5-3 UFC).
Okami is currently ranked at number three at middleweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, while Boetsch is currently holding down the number twenty three position. Okami isn't going anywhere with a win, but the Barbarian's stock could skyrocket if he's able to defeat Okami. This middleweight UFC 144 bout is the third fight of the main card, and will air live on pay per view. The PPV broadcast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Okami: 30 years old | 6'2" | 72" reach
Boetsch: 31 years old | 5'11" | 74" reach
What have these two done recently?
Okami: L - Anderson Silva (TKO) | W - Nate Marquardt (UD) | W - Mark Munoz (SD)
Boetsch: W - Nick Ring (UD) | W - Kendall Grove (UD) | L - Phil Davis (SUB)
How did these two get here?
Yushin "Thunder" Okami is one of the few Japanese fighters that made the transition to North American MMA relatively early in his career. He entered the UFC in late 2006 and rattled off four straight wins before losing a number one contender's bout to former champion Rich Franklin. He then racked up three more wins, but lost to Chael Sonnen. Two more wins got him another number one contenders bout, this time against Nate Marquardt at UFC 122. He won this one though, which earned him a rematch with Anderson Silva at UFC 134 (he held a win over Silva via DQ long ago). Unfortunately he looked very tentative and Silva knocked him out in the second round. This is his first bout since that loss.
Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch won over the hearts of fans everywhere when he dumped David Heath on his head in his UFC debut at UFC 81. Unfortunately, losses to Matt Hamill and Jason Brilz ushered him out of the organization the next year. Three wins on the regional circuit earned him a second chance, and a win over Todd Brown had people interested, but uber-prospect Phil Davis shut him down in his next fight and submitted him. This led to the Barbarian dropping some pounds and going down to 185. Two solid wins quickly established him as a contender at 185, and he now gets the chance of a lifetime against a top five fighter.
Why should you care?
It'll be interesting to see how Okami rebounds from the Silva loss. Plus, Redneck Judo!
You can catch more UFC 144 preview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
SBN coverage of UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson
UFC 144: Rampage Jackson Misses Weight By Five Pounds, Loses 20% Of Purse While Fight Goes On - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 144 Weigh-In Video And Coverage - Tim Burke
UFC 144: Anthony Pettis Vs. Joe Lauzon Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 144: The Bloody Elbow Judo Chops Of Frankie Edgar Vs. Ben Henderson - Fraser Coffeen
UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Staff Predictions - Tim Burke
UFC 144: Jake Shields Wants UFC To Make Sure Yoshihiro Akiyama Doesn't Cheat - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 144: Yushin Okami Vs. Tim Boetsch Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 144 Video: Dana White Video Blog Episode 2 - Kid Nate
UFC 144: Rampage Jackson On The Streets Of Tokyo - Kid Nate
UFC 144: Dana White Wants You To Know The UFC Didn't Kill PRIDE - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 144: The Epic Drama Of Yoshihiro Akiyama - Fraser Coffeen
UFC 144: Is Frankie Edgar Being Underrated Against Ben Henderson? - Fraser Coffeen
UFC 144: Hatsu Hioki Vs. Bart Palaszewski Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 144 Roundtable: Can The UFC Succeed In Japan? - Tim Burke
UFC 144 Predictions: Pros Slightly Favor Frankie Edgar To Beat Ben Henderson - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 144: Takanori Gomi Vs. Eiji Mitsuoka Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 144 Judo Chop: Benson Henderson And The Miracle of Survival Part 2 of 2 - Ben Thapa
UFC 144 Video: Under PRIDE Rules, Rampage Jackson Dominates Fight Against Ryan Bader - Anton Tabuena
UFC 144 Video: Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson Fight Simulation And Prediction - Anton Tabuena
UFC 144 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video - Tim Burke
UFC 144: Yoshihiro Akiyama Leads The UFC Back To Japan - Kid Nate
UFC 144: Should The Winner Of Joe Lauzon Vs. Anthony Pettis Get The Next Title Shot? - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 144: Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto Vs. Vaughan Lee Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 144: Riki Fukuda Vs. Steve Cantwell Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 144 Judo Chop: Benson Henderson And The Miracle Of Survival Part 1 of 2 - Ben Thapa
UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Countdown Show Full Video - Anton Tabuena
UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Betting Lines - Tim Burke
UFC 144: Rampage Jackson Is A Death Sentence For Ryan Bader According To Michael Bisping - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 144 Manga-Style Promo Video - Kid Nate
UFC 144: Takeya Mizugaki Vs. Chris Cariaso Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 144: Tiequan Zhang Vs. Issei Tamura Dissection - Dallas Winston