On the back of an injured right hand, an incidental headbutt and a nasty eye poke, Tim Boetsch was ultimately ineffective against Costa Philippou Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Besides an early first-round takedown, Boetch's offensive presence was nearly nonexistent. He was simply unable to utilize his suffocating clinch game and powerful wrestling due mostly to Philippou's elusiveness along the cage and solid boxing.
At this point, besides the injuries that immediately set him back against a fill-in opponent outside of the division's top 10, Boetsch really needs to regroup, re-examine his offensive techniques and come back stronger in 2013.
Here's what's next for "The Barbarian" as he tries to shake off this disappointing defeat.
In no way was Derek Brunson overly impressive Saturday night in his unanimous decision victory over the rusty Chris Leben.
Brunson did utilize his strong wrestling skills to take Leben down and keep him there, but his lack of conditioning, most likely due to an adrenaline dump in his official UFC debut, was nothing to write home about.
With all of that said, the UFC would be smart to give Brunson a legitimate middleweight in his next fight in order to build his brand.
Not for nothing, but a win over Leben is a massive notch on any fighter's belt.
For Tim Boetsch, fighting Brunson would benefit him in various ways. It would give him a chance to knock off a young new comer and the stylistic matchup would allow Boetsch to showcase his overwhelming strong suit, his wrestling.
Why not Alan Belcher?
Both Belcher and Tim Boetsch looked outmatched and ineffective in their fights at UFC 155. Neither guy was able to inflict serious damage and both men ended extremely productive 2012 campaigns as middleweight contenders.
A fight between the two would surely shed some light on who deserves to still be considered a future title contender.
Their respective skill sets should provide a rather entertaining fight. Boetsch likes to wrestle while Belcher possesses some of the most deadly submissions in the division today.
It's a matchup that would most likely end before the judges scored it and a fight that could easily make a main card in 2013.
This would be a very interesting fight.
The two first met back at UFC 149 in which Tim Boetsch ruined Hector Lombard's debut by stifling his striking with constant inside pressure.
Many people have pointed towards injury as the reason why Lombard was overly ineffective, but Boetsch got the best of him nonetheless.
Now, after a nasty KO finish in his last fight over submission specialist Rousimar Palhares, the UFC will be looking to increase Lombard's role as a top middleweight contender. The best way to do that, in an effort to build his case as an elite fighter, is to let him revenge his first UFC loss.
For Boetsch, another victory over Lombard would prove that the first was no fluke and that he's ready to contend with any fighter the UFC throws in front of him.
Mark Munoz needs someone to fight.
Both he and Tim Boetsch are coming off disappointing loses in fights that were supposed to be much closer.
Each former top contender possesses great wrestling skills that could translate into a very exciting matchup on the ground.
Munoz would serve as an instant threat to Boetsch on his feet. It would give "The Barbarian" a true chance to re-identify his strengths in the striking department, learn some new techniques and put them to use.
Munoz is no stepping stone, but Boetsch seems to be the stronger fighter and could ultimately regain his divisional momentum with an impressive victory.
If Tim Kennedy was to make his way over to the UFC following his last fight in Strikeforce, which is set to take on place in a matter of weeks, matching him up against a gritty veteran like Tim Boetsch would be truly fascinating.
In other words, it'd be an absolute blood bath.
Kennedy isn't well-known outside of hardcore MMA fans, so featuring him on a main card against a hungry Boetsch trying to regain his footing on the divisional ladder would satisfy the UFC in two ways.
It would give Kennedy the exposure he deserves and it would give Boetsch the chance to knock off a top 10 middleweight in the world.
Stylistically, the two would produce a riveting grappling game. Neither one possesses considerably elite striking skills and would much rather focus on closing the distance and making it a dirty war.
Nothing can be made final until Strikeforce dissolves and the UFC consumes their best fighters, but when that ultimately happens, Boetsch vs. Kennedy is a fight any MMA fan would love to see.
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