The UFC takes the Octagon to Calgary this weekend, with the co-main event being an important middleweight scrap between former Bellator champ Hector Lombard and Tim Boetsch. This fight may provide a top contender in the division, along with recent winner Chris Weidman.
It's an intriguing style matchup, as both men are very well-rounded. It will be interesting to see who will come out on top of this chess match.
Here's a head-to-toe breakdown of how these two match up.
Striking will be the difference maker in the fight between two powerhouses.
Hector Lombard is a one-punch knockout artist who has time and time again shown to be a handful with his boxing. Of his 31 career victories, 17 have come by knockout. These knockouts aren't TKOs either, they are clean knockouts where the fighter needs to be woken up.
Tim Boetsch is another guy with one-punch knockout power, but not as much as Lombard. This can be seen in his latest outing against Yushin Okami, where Boetsch battled back in the third round where he was losing and planted Okami into a trance.
If this is a battle of striking, things do not favor Boetsch. Lombard is too powerful and surprisingly technical.
In terms of straight wrestling, Tim Boetsch will have the edge. Boetsch has brute strength and solid wrestling credentials, especially for a 185-poudner.
The only problem here is that Hector Lombard is an Olympic-level judoka. He has great takedown defense, as well as takedowns in general.
This may cancel out Boetsch's wrestling, especially considering this will be the first fight at middleweight he will not have a strength advantage.
We have ourselves a stalemate, ladies and gentlemen.
As stated previously, Hector Lombard is an Olympic judoka. He has the submission skills to challenge many in his weight class.
On the other side, Tim Boetsch has brutal ground-and-pound, but is not much of a submission fighter. While Lombard has seven submission wins by arm locks, leg locks and chokes, Boetsch's five submissions come by strikes and guillotine chokes.
Boetsch is a strong wrestler, but struggles off his back. Lombard, for this reason, gets the edge.
The first intangible is the fact that this will be Hector Lombard's long-awaited UFC debut. Will the powerful Cuban have jitters or will he block out the media?
Second off will be Tim Boetsch's UFC momentum. Boetsch is on a three-fight win streak over solid competition in the middleweight division. He has disposed of Kendall Grove, Nick Ring and Yushin Okami, but the Okami fight did not come easy. That win came in a miraculous comeback, which may be the best of the year.
The last intangible is hype. Hector Lombard is one of the most hyped fighters to enter the UFC in a long time. Will he be able to live up to this hype or will he be another disappointment in the UFC.
Time will tell.
Come fight night, I believe we will have a good fight on our hands for a round-plus.
Boetsch is extremely durable and tough, but Lombard is a war wagon. His hands are like nuclear warheads waiting for a target. That target will be Tim Boetsch's chin.
Boetsch will attempt to take down Lombard when getting rocked, but Lombard is tough to get to the ground. This will lead to Boetsch's demise and push Lombard toward a title shot.
Prediction: Lombard def. Boetsch via knockout