UFC Fight Night Bangor Prediction: Tim Boetsch vs. Brad Tavares
August 13, 2014
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It’s amazing to think that Tim Boetsch found himself in the top five in the middleweight division, and was set to face Chris Weidman at one point. I don’t think you need me to tell you how a Weidman-Boetsch fight would have went down. After that fluky and improbable run to title relevance, Boetsch has promptly lost three out of four fights, with the one win being a very dubious decision against C.B. Dollaway.
The bottom has fallen out of Boetsch’s public support, and now he finds himself a +230 underdog against Brad Tavares. I can’t help but wonder if this shift is a slight overreaction. Boetsch is not exceptionally good at any one thing, but neither is Tavares.
If the data is to be believed, Boetsch is pretty darn close to average at everything. His significant strike margin is +0.09 per minute, he’s 18-19 in takedowns, 11-17 in guard passes, and 11-7 in submission attempts (although none of Boetsch’s submission attempts actually forced a tap out). Have Boetsch face a great wrestler/grappler, and he’ll probably get out-wrestled and potentially submitted. Have Boetsch face a great striker with decent takedown defense, and he’ll get out-struck and likely drop a decision.
The problem is that Tavares isn’t really a great striker or wrestler either – he’s just decent at both. Tavares has a +0.49 significant strike margin with 31% takedown offense and 68% takedown defense. The defense number was actually a lot better before Tavares faced Yoel Romero, but while it might seem like Tavares deserves a pass for being taken down seven times there, Romero had actually failed to take down his previous four opponents at all.
The point is that I wouldn’t dismiss Boetsch’s chances, either of winning a striking match at distance or at winning with takedowns and top control.
Still, the most likely outcome of the fight is that it will remain at standing distance, where Tavares will be able to slightly out-pace Boetsch and win a unanimous decision. Still, Tavares is not nearly at Luke Rockhold’s level, and I would argue he’s not at C.B. Dollaway’s level either. This is a competitive fight I favor Tavares in, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Boetsch exceeded most expectations.
Pick: Brad Tavares by decision