UFC 172's Tim Boetsch: People might have expectations set too high, too early, for Luke Rockhold

Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

In addition, Boetsch expects Rockhold to look for the takedown and keep the fight on the ground in order to avoid his punching power when the two face off this weekend (April 26, 2014) at UFC 172.

Known for packing tremendous strength and power in his compact frame, Tim Boetsch is confident he can bully any middleweight inside the Octagon.

That's just what "The Barbarian" aims to do this weekend (April 26, 2014) to Luke Rockhold when the two meet in the center of the Octagon at UFC 172 in Baltimore, Maryland.

And it's the threat of his power that leads Boetsch to believe that Rockhold -- a known striker -- will likely look for the takedown early and often.

Tim broke it down to Sherdog's Beatdown Radio Show:

"I feel like I can bully anybody in the middleweight division, and that's part of the game plan. But I think Luke's going to come into this one with a little bit different game plan than what everybody's expecting. I really think he's working hard on his wrestling and I think he understands that I have the ability to stop this fight with my punching power. I really expect him to try to put me on my back and keep me there."

Leading up to the bout, Boetsch seems rather confused as to why Rockhold is being back so hard by the promotion and fans alike. In Tim's eyes, Rockhold hasn't done enough under the UFC banner to warrant any special kind of attention and praise.

His words:

"Honestly, I think he's a great fighter. He's one of the best athletes in the weight class. He's got some great technical ability obviously and he's got a huge reach advantage over most guys in the weight class. He's a dangerous guy for anybody to fight, but that being said, as far as where he's at in the UFC, he's only got one win in the UFC and it was over [Costas] Philippou. I think he's definitely a legit fighter, but I'm not sure why he's being backed so hard already by everybody when he hasn't really had that experience in the UFC. I think this fight's going to be a great test for him. I definitely respect the guy and expect it to be a great fight, but I think people might have their expectations set a little bit too high too early."

Perhaps the undefeated record he obtained under the Strikeforce banner (9-0) and the fact that he was the promotion's former middleweight champion has plenty to do with the backing he's received from ZUFFA.

But, that was then and this is now and Boetsch is hell bent on showing Luke -- much like Vitor Belfort did last year -- that fighting inside the Octagon is an entirely different beast.

Anyone like "The Barbarian's" chances?

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