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UFC 149: 5 Fights for Tim Boetsch to Take Next

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2012

UFC 149: 5 Fights for Tim Boetsch to Take Next

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    Tim Boetsch continued to shake up the middleweight division on Saturday night with a shocking split decision win over Hector Lombard.

    The victory snapped a 20-fight win streak for Lombard, who was hyped by many as the next legitimate threat to Anderson Silva.

    Since dropping to the middleweight division, Boetsch has taken out the likes of Yushin Okami, Kendall Grove and Nick Ring.

    With the win over Lombard, "The Barbarian" joins Chris Weidman and Alan Belcher on the list of potential contenders for Silva.

    It can be argued that Boetsch has defeated the stiffest opposition of the trio.

    Okami is a former UFC title contender, and Lombard was the reigning Bellator middleweight champ before joining the UFC.

    Could Boetsch be next in line for a title shot?

    Here are five fights for him to take next.

Alan Belcher

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    Like Boetsch, Alan Belcher still seems to be a win shy of a UFC title shot.

    Why not pair the two middleweights together in a title eliminator bout?

    Belcher and Boetsch match up very well stylistically. They are both incredible strikers with titanium beards. It only makes sense to have them duke it out for a No. 1 contender's spot.

Chris Weidman

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    After his performance against Mark Munoz, Chris Weidman should be next in line for a title shot.

    Unfortunately, Silva's camp doesn't appear to be interested in a bout with Weidman.

    If a deal can't come together, the UFC could match Weidman up with Boetsch in hopes of cleaning up the mess of contenders in the middleweight division.

Rich Franklin

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    In the clouded middleweight title picture, people tend to forget about former UFC champ Rich Franklin.

    At UFC 147, Franklin returned to his old stomping grounds of 185 pounds and routed Wanderlei Silva.

    A win over Franklin would solidify Boetsch's position as a No. 1 contender.

Vitor Belfort

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    Like the Franklin bout, a win over a name like Vitor Belfort would go a long way in validating Boetsch as a top contender.

    Timing will be the main obstacle for this potential fight.

    Belfort is still mending a broken hand that forced him out of the UFC 147 main event. If he heals in time, a bout with Boetsch could be a very intriguing matchup.

Anderson Silva

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    There is the possibility the UFC grants Boetsch a shot at the middleweight title.

    Unfortunately, Anderson Silva seems to only be seeking marquee fights.

    Boetsch isn't the most marketable contender. His skills don't particularly stand out, and he hasn't really shown much personality.

    With that said, the decision is out of Silva's hands.

    The contender's column of the middleweight division is currently a mess, and Boetsch's chances are as good as any in securing a world title shot.

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