UFC 130 Results: 5 Fights To Make or Break Tim Boetsch’s Middleweight Run

Sean SmithAnalyst IMay 30, 2011

UFC 130 Results: 5 Fights To Make or Break Tim Boetsch’s Middleweight Run

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    At UFC 130, Tim Boetsch showed everyone exactly why he decided to drop to middleweight by dominating Kendall Grove en route to a unanimous decision victory.

    While a win over Grove has become less and less meaningful as of late, the way Boetsch completely controlled his fight with the former winner of The Ultimate Fighter could be a sign of bigger things to come for "The Barbarian" in the middleweight division.

    So, let's take a look at five of the most likely opponents that could be next on tap for Boetsch and what impact a win or a loss to those fighters could mean for the new middleweight.

Nate Quarry

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    Nate Quarry has been contemplating surgery since receiving facial surgery after his last fight against Jorge Rivera. However, Quarry hasn't made anything official and has still left the door open for a return.

    If Quarry does return after more than a year-long absence, a fight with Boetsch could make for an interesting return fight.

    A win over Quarry would give Boetsch another notch on his belt against a well-known opponent and solidify his position in the middleweight division. However, a loss to Quarry after having been on a long layoff could turn into a severe setback for Boetsch.

Jorge Santiago

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    Jorge Santiago would be a huge step up in competition for Boetsch, but the UFC may look to get Santiago back on track by matching him with an opponent they see as on the rise yet beatable.

    If Boetsch took advantage of the opportunity and defeated Santiago, he would immediately skyrocket up the middleweight rankings and become a borderline contender in the division.

    The fight would be a win-win scenario for Boetsch, who would hardly be faulted at all for a loss to Santiago.

Brad Tavares

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    With an undefeated record in seven professional fights, Brad Tavares is working toward earning increased job security with the UFC. A fighter who has been cut by the UFC before, Boetsch would also feel more comfortable with another win or two despite his win over Kendall Grove at UFC 130.

    This would be a pivotal fight for both middleweights. The winner of this fight could earn a step up in competition, while the loser might be one loss away from looking for another promotion to fight for.

Tom Lawlor

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    Tom Lawlor had been scheduled to meet Maiquel Faclao at UFC 134 in August. However, Falcao has since been released from the UFC, so Lawlor is in need of another opponent.

    The fight would be somewhat of a quick turnaround for Boetsch, but "The Barbarian" said he would like to get back into the Octagon as soon as possible in a post-fight interview after UFC 130.

    Both Boetsch and Lawlor are in very similar positions in the division, so a fight between them could determine which fighter is more deserving of a step up in competition.

Aaron Simpson

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    Like Tom Lawlor, Aaron Simpson also recently had his scheduled opponent taken away from him. In Simpson's case, he was expected to meet Jason Miller at UFC 132 in July.

    This would be an even quicker turnaround for Boetsch than a fight with Lawlor, but he did come out of his fight with Grove completely healthy, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    Coming off of a win over Mario Miranda, Simpson, like Boetsch, is looking to work his way up the middleweight ladder. If one of these fighter defeated the other decisively, they may be worthy of a fight with one of the division's gatekeepers or borderline contenders.

    UFC 130: Fight Card, News, Predictions, Results and More!

    Sean Smith is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. For the latest insight and updates on everything MMA, you can follow Sean on Twitter @seansmithMMA.