UFC 166 fight card primer: Tim Boetsch vs. C.B. Dollaway

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow previews all 13 fights from tonight's UFC 166 PPV in Houston, Texas. Here, we look at Tim Boetsch vs. C.B. Dollaway.

The headlining preliminary card fight for UFC 166 sees top-10 middleweight Tim Boetsch (16-6, 7-5 UFC) take on TUF 7 runner-up C.B. Dollaway (13-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC). Boetsch was supposed to fight fellow top-10 MW Luke Rockhold, but a knee injury forced Rockhold off the card, thus necessitating Dollaway's presence.

Boetsch is on a two-fight losing streak for the first time in his career, while Dollaway has won his last two. Tim's spirited run at middleweight has seemingly taken a turn for the worse, and Dollaway is looking for an upset win. The UFC 166 prelims on Fox Sports 1 begin live at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT and lead into the PPV main card, which starts at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.

How do these two measure up?

Boetsch: 32 years old | 6'0" | 74" reach
Dollaway: 30 years old | 6'2" | 76" reach

What have these two done recently?

Boetsch: L - Mark Munoz (UD) | L - Constantinos Philippou (TKO) | W - Hector Lombard (SD)
Dollaway: W - Daniel Sarafian (SD) | W - Jason Miller (UD) | L - Jared Hamman (TKO)

How did these two get here?

After losing to top light heavyweight contender Phil Davis in 2010, Tim Boetsch decided that it was time for a weight class change. Consecutive wins over Kendall Grove and Nick Ring set him up for a showdown with Yushin Okami, who at the time was coming off a title fight knockout loss against Anderson Silva. Boetsch was manhandled for two rounds but delivered a stunning display of heart and determination in round 3, hurting Okami before finishing him with a barrage of uppercuts in front of a stunned crowd in Saitama. Boetsch again would play the role of spoiler in edging out Hector Lombard. A 3rd-round TKO loss to Costa Philippou (admittedly marred by an eye poke) snapped his unbeaten run at middleweight, and then Mark Munoz took a dominant decision win at UFC 162.

Dollaway was on his own worrisome skid in 2011, losing by quick KO to Mark Munoz and followed that up with an upset loss to Jared Hamman. The former Arizona State wrestler was pitted against Jason Miller, and even though he was hurt twice by Miller's punches, he recovered and won a clear-cut unanimous decision. His split-decision win against Daniel Sarafian won FOTN honors earlier this January. While his striking still looked to be a weak point, his wrestling proved to be a deciding factor in the fight.

Why should you care?

A win for Dollaway would give him 3 in a row and beating Boetsch would be his best victory yet. On the other side, Boetsch badly needs a win to maintain any hope of remaining in the top 10.

SBN coverage of UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III

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