Tim Boestch and The Economics Of Going For It Down 2 Rounds.

AT UFC 144 Tim Boestch was getting manhandled by former number one contender Yushin Okami. As he came to his corner they told him he had lost both rounds and he had to go for it.

Boetsch responded by coming out super aggressive, and showing little regard for his own safety while chasing Okami down and finishing the fight with a flurry of huge uppercuts in the clinch.

It was a spectacular performance but it led to a bunch of questions such as;

"Why don’t more fighters go all out for the finish in the 3rd round down 0-2?"


" How much money did Tim Boetsch’s big comeback make him?"

We’ll start with the money question.

This was Boetsch’s 3rd fight at Middleweight after workmanlike wins over Kendall Grove and Nick Ring.

Boestch was paid 1$8,000 to show with another 18,000 to win that night in February. This does not include behind the scenes bonuses, sponsor money, etc…

So at the bare minimum his comeback netted him 18K, not bad, but not life changing. But let’s take a deeper look into the numbers.

As we’ll see a little later, Boestch was in the ideal situation to go for it, because he had just banked two wins even if they were not in spectacular fashion.

After his fight with Okami (His first fight since losing a title fight to Anderson Silva), Boetsch was "in the mix" as Dana loves to say, and matched up with long time middleweight bridesmaid Michael Bisping.

Thn other things outside of his control started to happen:

Chris Weidman destroyed long # 3 ranked Middleweight Mark Munoz

The Bisping fight was moved off of one card onto another

And Brian Stann was injured and dropped out of his fight with debuting Bellator Middleweight champion Hector Lombard.

This led to Boestch being matched up with Lombard in the co main event of UFC 149.

While his official salary was listed as 18 to show and 18 to win in his lackluster win over Lombard at UFC 149 it’s well known that co main event fighters get extra money often including a percentage of the PPV sales.

In addition after UFC 149 Boestch thanked no less than 6 different sponsors from Milwaukee tool to Venum Fight Energy, few of which he had when he was a middling middleweight being fed to Okami as a comeback fight.

In total it’s possible that Boetsch’s big 3rd round made him in excess of 50,000, and that’s not counting his upcoming match up with division buzz saw Chris Weidman at the end of this year. If he wins that he may even be able to cash in for a title shot sometime next year.

The lesson here is that it pays to go for it down 0-2.

Now that we’ve established that, why do we see so few fighters go for it?

If you look at fights on a round to round basis as I did for the last few UFC’s going back to 145* when a fighter is down 0-2 one of 6 things happened.

1. The Fighter down 0-2 was hesitant to engage but was not finished as in Matt Hammil Vs Roger Hollett.

2. The Fighter was hesistent to engage and got finished which didn’t happen in this sample

3. The Fighter down 0-2 was eager to engage and got finished as in Matt Riddle submitting Chris Clements after being up 2-0.

4. The Fighter down 0-2 was eager to engage and finished as in Marcos Vinicus Vs Wagner Campos

5. The Fighter down 0-2 was eager to engage and won the round but couldn’t finish as in Court Mcgee Vs Nick Ring.

6. The Fighter was eager to engage but lost the round as in the Brian Ebersole vs James Head fight.

Now while this roughly 25 fight sample is not huge it's enough to tell us a couple of things, with only 2 finishes happening when guys came out eager to engage down 0-2 the risk of getting finished "going out on your shield" is small.

Secondly there were almost as many instances (1) where guys were down 0-2 only to finish.

Most of the time (19 fights) the fighter up 2 rounds wins the round and the fight, regardless of whether the fighter down 0-2 tries to engage or not. If I were Malcolm Gladwell I would come up with some fancy term for this like skill level differential to argue why the better fighter won the fight. Since I'm not I'll just point out that it makes sense that most of the time if a guy wins the first 2 rounds he's probably going to win the 3rd all thing being equal.

Which is why it makes so much sense financially to go for it.

As most fans know, unless you're name is Dan Hardy three losses mean you're cut from the UFC, so many could argue that a fighter would be less likely to go for it down 0-2 if he's sitting on 2 losses. However while this makes sense on the surface, if we look at the numbers we see that going for it down 0-2 with two losses is your ONLY chance of getting another UFC paycheck.

If you're a fighter or a corner you have to know that if you lose the first two rounds as Boetsch did in Japan. You have to go for the finish aggressively or you will lose the decision as 76% of fighters down 0-2 do.

Tim Boestsch went for it and if he somehow defeats Chris Weidman later this year his unlikely title shot and big % PPV dollars all started when he was down 0-2 against Yushin Okami.


* UFC 151 was canceled so 145-152 is only 6 cards instead of 7, I did not include fuel, or fx cards cause I don't get paid to research :)

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