UFC on FOX 29: Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Tim Boetsch fight preview
Antonio Carlos Junior
MMA Record: 9-2, 1 NC
UFC Record: 6-2, 1 NC
Notable Wins: Jack Marshman, Marvin Vettori
Notable Losses: Pat Cummins, Dan Kelly
Last Fight: Submission win over Jack Marshman
Fighter Profile: Junior won The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 as a heavyweight then decided to drop down to 205lbs, where he was outsized by Cummins. He then made the move down to 185lbs and it's looked like a great career choice so far as he's 5-1, 1 NC as a middleweight. Junior has shown terrific ability on the ground and has some of the best submissions in the division. Although his striking is a work in progress he has shown some improvements in that aspect of his game in recent fights. A bad loss to Kelly where he gassed out looks like it wasn't the end of his career but rather a loss he needed for personal growth and right now he looks like a fighter who is a darkhorse title contender in the middleweight division.
MMA Record: 21-11
UFC Record: 12-10
Notable Wins: Brad Tavares, Johny Hendricks, Yushin Okami
Notable Losses: Luke Rockhold, Dan Henderson, Phil Davis
Last Fight: KO win over Johny Hendricks
Fighter Profile: One of the toughest fighters in the middleweight division, Boetsch has been counted out many times in his career only to shock the world and knock his opponents out. He has a ton of knockout power and has been red-hot in recent years with three wins by knockout in his last four outings. Having praised his heart and toughness, you also have to criticize his defense both on the feet and on the ground. We have seen him get brutally knocked out in several fights, including a bad loss to Ed Herman in 2016, and we have also seen him get submitted numerous times, such as his loss via the Mr. Wonderfulbar against Davis. Boetsch is someone you can't count out and has been the ultimate gatekeeper at 185lbs but at his advanced age he won't be making a run to the title anytime soon.
Fight Breakdown: I went back-and-forth on this fight for a consierable period of time. Ultimately I chose to settle with Junior as the pick, though it's not without reservations. The reason I took him here is because of his huge age advantage as well as the recent improvements he's made in his last few fights. I think he learned a lot from that nasty loss to Kelly and has turned the corner in his career. Having said that, it's always hard to count out Boetsch considering how many times he's upset his opponents with crazy knockouts, and he has looked good as of late too. But he's also getting up there in age and we've seen submissions to be a huge problem for him in the past. While I'm not discounting the possibility of a knockout for Boetsch, I have to go with the younger fighter with more upside here and take Junior to win the fight by submission.
Prediction: Junior via submission
Tags: betting preview
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