Esther Lin, MMA Fighting | Yushin Okami will battle Tim Boetsch on the main card at UFC 144 on Saturday night.
Okami (26-6) is coming off a loss in a middleweight championship fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 134 last August. Boetsch (14-4) won both his fights last year, claiming decisions over Kendall Grove and Nick Ring.
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Round 1: Boetsch paws forward with a jab and front kick. Okami comes back with a sharp left. Good right hand jab from Okami gives Boetsch something to think about. Boetsch tries to reset and Okami knocks him off with another right. Boetsch charges in with right hooks, but Okami avoids them well. Takedown attempt by Boetsch, and Okami shuts it down without much difficulty. Good one-two by Okami batters Boetsch. Okami seems to have a clear edge on the feet so far. Boetsch attacks the body with kicks. Short jab by Okami has Boetsch checking to see if his nose is still there. Boetsch is bleeding from his cheeks and clearly off-balance as the opening round ends. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Okami.
Round 2: Okami goes back on the attack right away, stinging Boetsch with a knee and then getting into a clinch and taking Boetsch down two minutes in. Boetsch looks for a guillotine, but only succeeds in stalling Okami’s advance briefly. Okami gets to half-guard and looks for a kimura. As Boetsch defends, Okami moves to full mount. Okami opens up with punches from the top, but settles for ending the round on top, clearly in control. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Okami.
Round 3: Boetsch starts the third in a bit of a desperation mode, charging forward with big right hands. Okami gets caught, and he’s reeling. Boetsch stays on him and pounds the Japanese fighter with one brutal uppercut after another in close. Okami drops and Boetsch keeps on him. A few more punches is all it takes, and Boetsch has snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Tim Boetsch def. Yushin Okami via TKO at 0:54 of round three.
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