The UFC has added another bout to UFC 144, announcing today that a middleweight tilt between former number one contender Yushin Okami and Tim Boetsch is in the works for the promotion’s impending return to Japan.
“Undefeated since dropping down to middleweight, Tim ‘The Barbarian’ Boetsch has verbally agreed to face top three ranked Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami February 26th in Tokyo, Japan,” said UFC president Dana White.
Yushin Okami is the last man to have defeated Anderson Silva and is also the last man to have been defeated by Anderson Silva. Okami earned a disqualification win over Silva dating back to 2006 and was absolutely floored by the champion in their rematch this past August. The longtime top middleweight will look to rebound from his second round TKO defeat to Silva by taking out Boetsch. Sporting a record of 26-6, Okami was riding a three-fight winning streak prior to meeting Silva for the belt.
Following a one-sided loss to Phil Davis at light heavyweight, Tim Boetsch dropped to 185lbs. to try his luck against more like-sized competition. The move has paid off so far, as The Barbarian has gone 2-0 since moving to middleweight, having taken out Kendall Grove and Nick Ring by unanimous decision. Boetsch claims a record of 14-4.
UFC 144 will take place on February 26 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, marking the promotion’s first trip back to Japan since UFC 29 in 2000.