Yushin Okami dominated Tim Boetsch for two rounds at UFC 144 on Saturday night. Unfortunately for Okami, it was a three-round fight. In the third, Boetsch delivered a stunning turnaround and pummeled Okami with punches, finishing him on the ground for a dramatic third-round TKO.
It was one of the great comeback performances in MMA history, as Boetsch had been completely destroyed for 10 minutes only to win the fight in the third round.
It only took Boetsch 54 seconds in the third round to finish the fight.
"I knew less than a knockout or finish would win that fight for me," Boetsch said afterward. "Yushin was beating me up for two rounds. But my heart was in it, I knew I could take him out if I just stuck with what I train to do. You see what happens if you do what you train to do."
Okami landed a hard jab in the early first round and as that continued to work, Okami continued to go back to it. The first round was all standing up, and it was all Okami: He landed repeated hard punches that Boetsch couldn't answer, and by the end of the round Boetsch had cuts on both cheeks.
At the start of the second round Okami continued to batter Boetsch standing. Eventually Okami went in for a takedown and as they went to the ground Boetsch attempted a guillotine choke, but once Okami pulled his head free he was in a dominant position, and he transitioned to full mount, where he finished the round. It was another clear round for Okami.
And then came the third round, in which Boetsch came out on the attack, landed hard punches that had Okami on the run, and then chased Okami down to land more punches, knock him down and finish him off on the ground. It was a brilliant comeback to cap off a great fight.