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UFC 96: Previewing and Predicting Tim Boetsch vs. Jason Brilz

One of the more intriguing matchups that fans attending tonight’s UFC 96 event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio will get to see that PPV fans won’t is a light heavyweight bout between Tim Boetsch and Jason Brilz.

A lot of people are on the Boetsch bandwagon and believe he’s going to smash Brilz. As much respect as I have for Boetsch, I’m not exactly sure the fight is going to go down that way.

Tim Boetsch (8-2) vs. Jason Brilz (16-1-1)

Boetsch is a true warrior having once competed twice in six days. After submitting Brendan Barrett with a guillotine choke on a regional show in Orange, New Jersey, Boetsch then traveled up the turnpike to the Meadowlands six days later for a last-minute matchup against former IFL Vladimir Matyushenko.

The Lock Haven University wrestling walk-on gained additional fans when he smashed David Heath in his UFC debut at UFC 81 last February. The bout wasn’t televised live but was such an impressive performance that UFC officials showed it on a tape-delay basis. Soon after, Boetsch received a contract extension.

Boetsch looked less than stellar in a second round TKO loss to Matt Hamill last April at UFC Fight Night 13 but he bounced back in September with a win over Mike Patt at UFC 88. His opponent, Jason Brilz, also fought and defeated Patt.

The win over common opponents is an indicator that this matchup wasn’t signed to give Boetsch an easy victory. Wth wins over current UFC fighter Jason MacDonald and former UFC fighters Brad Morris and Alex Schoenauer, Brilz has proven he’s a tough competitor.

Boetsch will have the wrestling advantage but Brilz has better submissions. The standup might be a wash, because while Boetsch has tremendous power, his Jeet Kune Do background doesn’t always translate well to MMA.

Prediction: In a matchup that is almost too close to call, the pick here is Brilz by split decision.

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