At first glance, this match between Tim Boetsch and Mark Munoz looks like a very close and competitive fight. However, when I squint, I can see some distinct advantages for Boetsch. These advantages translate to my current thoughts, which are that Boetsch should be solidly favored to win this fight.
The one area I will give Munoz the advantage in is significant strikes. He has a 321-221 edge over his opponents in strikes landed, and that’s including his lopsided defeat against Chris Weidman in his last fight. Take that fight out of the equation, and Munoz’s advantage becomes 321-193. Either way, Munoz has showcased a better ability to land and avoid strikes than Boetsch has. With that said, Boetsch is a pretty good striker too, and it’s not a foregone conclusion that Munoz will land more strikes over the course of the fight.
Where Munoz gets in trouble is when I start looking at… well, everything else. One really troubling sign is that Munoz has been knocked down four times out of 221 significant strikes. In his last fight, Munoz was knocked out by a standing elbow to the forehead from Weidman. These are troubling signs for a fighter who has not had a particularly long career. In contrast, Boetsch has never been knocked down in a fight. Boetsch is not the hardest hitter in the division, but against Munoz, he might not have to be.
Another problem for Munoz is the takedown game. Munoz’s reputation as a dominant wrestler has been pretty well shattered throughout his UFC career, but it’s remarkable that not only is Munoz not a great wrestler… he’s not really a good wrestler either. He is about even with his opponents in takedowns landed (15-14), but Munoz has attempted a lot more takedowns than his opponents have. Neither fighter in this match has particularly good takedown defense, but when I look at the numbers, it seems more likely that Boetsch will succeed with a takedown attempt than Munoz.
The truth is that this is a competitive match. The numbers for Boetsch and Munoz are comparable in every category. Unfortunately for Munoz, when I take a hard look at the numbers, I see Boetsch as more likely to win by knockout, and Boetsch as more likely to win by submission. Due to what I believe will be an advantage in takedowns, I have to call Boetsch more likely to win by decision as well. Add up all the slight advantages Boetsch has in this fight, and the result is Boetsch as a solid favorite to win.
Pick: Tim Boetsch by decision