Tonight, we get treated to a huge battle of huge middleweights, as Hector Lombard makes his UFC debut after a dominant run in Bellator. He will be meeting former light heavyweight, Tim Boetsch, who has put together a 3 fight win streak since his loss to Phil Davis in his last light heavyweight bout.
Both fighters are massive middleweights, easily walking around at upwards of 200 pounds. Their frames aren't full of any unnecessary weight though, as each man has extremely muscular builds and the power that comes with it. In fact, Hector Lombard is so stocky that he is the same height as Thiago Alves, one of welterweight's most heavily muscled fighters.
The power these guys have is unmatched at middleweight. Both men are aggressive in striking and occasionally grappling. Hector Lombard has an incredible 17 (T)KOs to his name, accounting for over half of his professional fights. His striking mainly focuses on his heavy hands, and every punch is a possible knockout. When it comes to grappling, his judo background provides the base he needs to stop takedowns, and he is pretty slick with jiu jitsu on the mat.
Tim Boetsch is pretty similar to Lombard in many ways. He prefers to strike, but features a slightly more varied attack. His punches are slightly less powerful, but he is always aggressive, pushing opponents back and pushing them to their limit. In the clinch and on the ground, he combines brute strength and good technique to keep opponents at bay. When it hits the ground, he can unleash heavy ground and pound or threaten with submissions (he even attempted a Peruvian Neck Tie on Nick Ring in their fight at UFC 135). Even when he's being dominated, he never gives up, a trait that is hard to find. His comeback against Yushin Okami in Japan was because he pushed the action and took the fight into his own hands. He recognized he was down two rounds, and he pushed forward, eventually clobbering Okami into defeat after being soundly beaten for the prior two rounds.
When these two men meet, they will hit each other, and they will be hitting with the worst of intentions. If Lombard can keep his distance and control the stand up, he will probably win. But if Boetsch can close the distance and make this an ugly battle of will and fists, it's anyone's game. Knowing what Boetsch can do, I expect the latter. Even when these guys get tired, they put all they have into their strikes, and it will be colossal. Being that Boetsch is a heavy underdog, I doubt he lets up at all in this fight.
When this fight is standing, expect heavy hits. When this fight is clinched, expect heavy hits. When this fight hits the mat, expect heavy hits. This will be a war of attrition between two of the strongest hitters in all of middleweight, and when they collide, there will be heavy damage. Even though the odds might not reflect it, this is very likely to be one of the most hotly contested bouts on the card, and it will be a battle of wills until the bitter end.
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