Yushin Okami vs Tim Boetsch Added To UFC 144 CardMiddleweight standout Yushin “Thunder” Okami will look to get back on the winning track when he faces Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch at UFC 144 on February 26, 2012. Verbal agreements are in place for the matchup, which will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Okami challenged unsuccessfully for the UFC Middleweight Championship in an August rematch with Anderson “The Spider” Silva. He had won six of seven fights prior to the setback and remains among the top contenders at 185. Boetsch has won both of his fights since dropping to middleweight.

Okami (26-6-0) has posted an impressive 10-3 record inside the UFC against top competition. Where other Japanese fighters have struggled inside the Octagon, Okami has excelled, but he was unable to get anything going in the rematch against Silva and ultimately succumbed to punches in the second round. Regarded as one of the most powerful fighters at 185 pounds, Okami’s strong wrestling skills have allowed him to dominate many of his opponents, but he will face a fellow powerhouse wrestler in his return bout in Japan.

Boetsch (14-4-0) burst onto the MMA scene in February 2008 with a first-round drubbing of David Heath at UFC 81. After losses in two of his next three fights, Boetsch was released from the promotion. He stopped three straight opponents outside of the UFC and returned to the Octagon with a victory at UFC 117. Boetsch opted to drop down to 185 pounds after a loss to unbeaten prospect Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis one year ago and he has looked impressive in wins over Kendall Grove and Nick Ring. A victory over Okami could elevate Boetsch to title contender status.

UFC 144 takes place on February 26, 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event features a UFC Lightweight Championship bout between Frankie “The Answer” Edgar and former WEC champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)