Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweights — Sorta!!! — Johny Hendricks and Tim Boetsch collided last night (June 25, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 112 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Saturday morning, Hendricks added his name to the hilarious list of fighters who somehow missed weight at two separate weight classes. It’s a short list, but Hendricks separated himself from the pack by gaining 15 pounds of allowance instead of the usual 10 with his switch to 185 pounds! Adding the humor was the fact the Boetsch was far bigger than his opponent, yet had little trouble making weight. This was a quality opportunity for “The Barbarian,” who had looked solid lately and was fighting a potentially untrained opponent.
It definitely looked that way.
Boetsch opened with some smarts, looking to maintain a kickboxing range and punt Hendricks’ inner leg and body. Hendricks chased him around the cage trying to box, but Boetsch answered his lunging shots with smooth combinations of punches and kicks.
Across the entire round, Boetsch was simply the sharper man. He made Hendricks miss quite a bit and countered when that happened. While circling, Boetsch punished Hendricks with long kicks up the middle. When Hendricks finally did get in close, Boetsch did better work there as well.
Hendricks needed to do something different.
Instead, Boetsch built upon his success. Boetsch continued to find success with his body kicks, which enabled him to land a perfect head kick. Hendricks stumbled into the fence and was still aware, but the end was near. “The Barbarian” pulled out some of his old-school “Redneck Judo,” hanging onto Hendricks’ neck and pummeling him with uppercuts.
The former world champion slumped to the mat, and the fight was called.
Boetsch had a damn near perfect fight in this bout. Every time he tried something, it worked. At range, he absolutely punished Hendricks, making his life miserable with an endless array of kicks. Hendricks tried to walk through them, but it really just slowed him down.
The more he landed at range, the more frustrated Hendricks became, which only allowed Boetsch to counter him more effectively. Even in the rare clinch, Boetsch’s size advantage and strength made it a mismatch.
Boetsch has now won — and stopped — three of his last four fights, only losing to “Jacare” Souza. He’s fully recovered from his slump and looks good in there again, meaning he’s a solid Top 15 fighter. He may not go on a title run, but Boetsch is here to stay.
It’s hard to say the same for Hendricks. How did Hendricks miss weight? Laziness and sloppiness, which carried into his performance as well. Hendricks did little to stop Boetsch from employing his game plan, throwing punches and largely hoping they would land.
When they didn’t, there was no back up plan or adjustment of any kind.
Furthermore, there’s no real path forward for Hendricks. He’s clearly out-sized at Middleweight, but he can’t even make the weight! In what was supposed to be a winnable fight, Hendricks found himself dominated. If he can’t even be competitive with fighters at Tim Boetsch’s level, what is the point of his Middleweight career?
Last night, Tim Boetsch battered his opponent to a second round stoppage. What’s next for “The Barbarian?”
For complete UFC Fight Night 112: “Chiesa vs. Lee” results and play-by-play, click HERE!