This is a match that, on paper, is the most lopsided of the evening. It’s never easy bringing along stars at the correct pace, and Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis is definitely a star in the making. His opponent, Tim Boetsch, is no slouch, but he’ll definitely have his hands full tonight.
Davis (7-0) was given a stern test to start out his UFC career in former WEC light heavyweight champ Brian Stann and he passed with flying colors. Davis won the division I national championship in wrestling at Penn State in 2008 and was a 4 time All-American while with the Nittany Lions. Wrestling has always been one of the easiest traditional arts to make the transition to MMA and Phil Davis was no exception.
Under the tutelage of Lloyd Irvin and the American Kickboxing Academy, Davis has blossomed into a future star in the light heavyweight division. His first round anaconda choke of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 113 was proof of that. Davis has the skills to dictate wherever he wants to fight to take place and that’s bad news for all his opponents. As he continues to add striking and submission skills to his wrestling base, he may very well be a future champion someday.
Boetsch (12-3) is on his second tour with the UFC after a nice three fight winning streak outside the promotion but his return fight against Todd Brown at UFC 117 didn’t set the world on fire. Boetsch is best remembered for his incredible brute strength he showed against David Heath in his UFC debut, tossing Heath to the ground with ease but has yet to fulfill any hype that he gained. This will be the third time Boetsch has had an opportunity to gain a 2 fight win streak in the promotion, as he has failed the first two attempts.
Boetsch has tremendous power, and if the fight stays standing, he’ll be very dangerous. If he’s able to clip Davis, he’ll have a chance to win, but the window is very slim. Davis is just too good with his wrestling and too smart to put himself in a situation where Boetsch can hurt him.
I expect Davis to gain a decision at least, and potentially earn a submission victory if the opportunity presents itself.
Prediction: Phil Davis via submission in the 2nd round.