UFC 162 fight card: Mark Munoz vs Tim Boetsch fight prediction, preview and breakdown

Photo by Esther Lin

After nearly one year on the shelf, Mark Munoz returns to action tonight (July 6, 2013) to battle Tim Boetsch at UFC 162, which emanates from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Will Munoz get "back in the Middleweight mix" or will Boetsch once again play the role of savage spoiler? Jason Probst for MMAmania.com breaks it all down below.

If the UFC 162 main event between Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman this evening (Sat., July 6, 2013) marks the "A" side of the Middleweight division, the 185-pound collision of Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch is a decent supporting warm up act.

"Filipino Wrecking Maching" and "The Barbarian" is a mixed martial arts (MMA) match of aggressive sluggers with solid wrestling credentials, which figures to be violent and a rollicking affair while it lasts. Munoz and Boetsch both have heavy hands and the aggressive temperament of a guy confident he can always flip the script and take an opponent down, if necessary, while neither would be regarded as a defensive whiz on the feet.

Don’t go to the fridge.

Check out a complete breakdown of the UFC 162 Middleweight main card match between Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch below:

The Breakdown

Munoz has a kicking game, Boetsch does not, and he also is more athletic and quicker, especially with his shots.

Despite a collegiate pedigree, at times, Boetsch looks pretty clumsy in his transitions and seems to be one of those guys who gets results on hard-nosed effort as opposed to seamless technique and set ups. This is a definite edge for Munoz, especially in scrambles and transitions, where he really excels.

If there’s a serious danger area for Munoz, it’s getting sucked into brawls, letting hands fly in the pocket with an elevated chin and hoping to land the fight-finishing bomb. This is precisely where the strong-chinned Boetsch is at his best, as opponents ditch the gameplan and figure the bearded guy wading forward is just asking for it.

It’s not a highly scientific gameplan, but Boetsch makes it work for him more often than not. When given proper time to prepare for fights, his strong conditioning means this translates into an exceptionally taxing style for opponents.

The Pick

Munoz has shown himself a slow starter sometimes, and while Boetsch doesn’t figure to go kamikaze early, Munoz has to establish sharper, cleaner stand up early to set the tone. This will also open up his takedown attempts. Boetsch figures to fight the opening takedown attempts early with great aplomb, out of respect for Munoz’ incredible ground-and-pound and the fact that wrestlers rarely if ever wins bouts where they get taken down early.

If Boetsch can stuff some early takedown and touch Munoz up on the feet, he’ll have the momentum on his side, where he can force Munoz to try things that will backfire. At times Munoz will rely on his explosive athleticism to bail him out of bad spots, but if properly anticipated such as was the case with Chris Weidman, you can exploit this.

However, Boetsch is not Weidman, and figures to let Munoz off the hook should he need a bailout takedown attempt, scramble, or wild flurry to buy some time. Look for some rousing back-and-forth exchanges in the first round before Munoz scores a big takedown off an exchange in the second.

From the top position, he’s as dangerous a ground and pounder there is in the sport, and Boetsch really doesn’t have the kind of high-level guard game to negate Munoz, who will unleash some thundering bombs from the top to win by impressive second-round knockout.

Munoz via technical knockout

Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the UFC 162 pay-per-view (PPV) main card action, which is slated to start promptly at 10 p.m. ET. Up-to-the-minute updates and fight-by-fight coverage will begin to flow earlier than that, however, around 7 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook and FX.

Jason Probst can be reached at twitter.com/jasonprobst

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