UFC 130 Preview: The Prelims

Grove vs. Boetsch

By Jason Probst May 24, 2011
Kendall Grove is 7-5 inside the Octagon. | Photo: D. Mandel/Sherdog.com

Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch

The Matchup: Boetsch drops to 185 pounds to takes on Grove, a staple in the division. In a definite crossroads bout for both, Boetsch’s wrestling and aggression match up against Grove’s height and submissions ability. Both are known for exciting bouts, so do not go to the fridge for this one.

Boetsch, 3-3 in the UFC at 205 pounds, should translate well at middleweight, especially in a debut bout against Grove, who is not a power-wrestler type.

Since Randy Couture kicked off the trend in 2003 by going down in weight, it has become the expected move when a fighter gets mixed results and needs to jumpstart his career. Boetsch, who often appeared a tad undersized and fleshy compared to fellow 205-pounders, is the latest to make the move. However, there are generally two kinds of stories here: wrestlers who drop down a weight class, and everyone else, with the former handling it better simply because they have years of experience cutting the pounds.

Given room to operate and decide when the bout will hit the mat, Boetsch should be able to close the gap on Grove and take it down. He will have to be careful working in both the clinches and in Grove’s guard; at 6-foot-6 the Hawaiian creates leverage and opportunities to attack from unique angles.

The Pick: Boetsch should be able to pull out a blue-collar type of win, grinding out a close decision or late stoppage. The key factor will be getting it to the mat early; in scrambles and fast-paced trades, Grove is proficient at creating opportunities and scoring in those situations.

Continue Reading » Next Fight: Gleison Tibau vs. Rafaello Oliveira
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