UFC 172 Play: Luke Rockhold (-900) vs Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (+600)

Luke RockholdUFC 172 Date: April 26, 2014 Arena: Baltimore Arena City: Baltimore, MD Middleweight bout: Luke Rockhold (-900) vs Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (+600) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC 172 will feature a middleweight contest between Luke Rockhold and Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch. Rockhold is a huge favorite in this spot at -900 ($900 to win $100), with Boetsch being a giant underdog at +600 ($100 to win $600) at Several Bookmakerss. Luke Rockhold (11-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is coming off of an impressive first round knockout victory over Costa Philipou, and is back in the win column with his sights set on the 185 pound gold. The win comes on the heels of being on the receiving end of a first round knockout suffered at the hands of “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort, which snapped a nine fight winning the former Strikeforce middleweight champion had built. Rockhold is a very talented grappler, both offensively and defensively. He has solid wrestling, and a great submission game. He is good at scoring takedowns, as well as defending them. The California native has a strong base, thanks to his judo background, and is hard man to take down. To compliment his grappling, he is also incredibly talented on the feet. Rockhold is a very well-rounded fighter who exceeds in many areas of mixed martial arts. He generally dictates where his fights take place, and has octagon control. The 29 year old’s striking skills are excellent, especially the variety of kicks he dishes out. He has a nice flying knee, and works some beautiful spinning kicks. He likes to go for head kicks, but more so likes to attack his opponents’ body with kicks and knees, as was evident in his last outing against Philipou. Rockhold works well against the cage, and he also likes to stand and trade with his opponents. Training out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA, he is a well-conditioned athlete who will undoubtedly be game for a high-volume 15 minutes, should the fight reach the judges’ scorecards. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (17-6 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is coming off a split decision victory over CB Dolloway at UFC 166 back in October. It was a decision many fans and media found controversial, but I personally scored the bout for Boetsch. The Matt Hume product has solid wrestling skills, works good takedowns and implements an effective ground and pound attack. He isn’t very skilled on the feet, but he has a good chin and his striking is improving, as he continues to develop at AMC Pankration. He has certainly improved on his technique, footwork, and head movement. Boetsch’s biggest asset on the feet is his power, as was evident in his bout against Yushin Okami at UFC 144. He carried enough power into the third round to put the veteran away. The former light heavyweight has great conditioning, and it should serve him for a 15 minute fight, if it goes the distance. The chances of it going the distance, however would increase if the fight did not stay on the feet, where “The Barbarian” would be at a severe disadvantage. His gameplan should be to implement his wrestling and try to get Rockhold down to the mat, whether it be against the cage or right in the center. Gabe’s Prediction: I think Rockhold is going to overwhelm Boetsch on the feet and stop him in similar fashion he did Costa Philipou and Keith Jardine. Gabe’s Call: Rockhold by TKO (knees, 3:29 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Rockhold (-900) parlayed with Benavidez (-380) for -248 4.85u to win 1.95u

Written by Gabe Killian

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