When Tim Boetsch hurt Yushin Okami early in the third round of their middleweight match at UFC 144 in Tokyo, he got the sense that he was in the midst of a special comeback.

If he didn't realize it himself, though, he got plenty of help from UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan, who went berserk as Boetsch rallied from far behind to stop Okami in dramatic fashion in February.

"I heard Joe's reaction live, which is how I knew it was an incredible comeback," Boetsch said by telephone from Calgary, where he is preparing for an important fight against Hector Lombard Saturday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the co-main event of UFC 149. "I heard Joe Rogan screaming. I looked over and saw him going nuts and I was going crazy. Joe Rogan and I had a nice little moment there together."

An overly enthused Rogan called it the greatest comeback he'd ever seen, though he later backed off that stance.

But Boetsch's win over Okami represented a major career comeback of sorts. He's now, to borrow one of UFC president Dana White's pet phrases, "in the mix" for a middleweight title shot.

[Related: Kevin Iole: UFC's growth leads to a rash of injuries]

He's been in the division for a little more than a year, beating Kendall Grove, Nick Ring and Okami to suddenly become a player after holding bit parts as a light heavyweight.

He was 2-3 as a 205-pounder in the UFC and had been cut once already. After a loss to Phil Davis at UFC 123 in 2010, he was looking at the possibility of being released a second time.

Whether or not he survived the ax was immaterial, however. There was no way as a 205-pounder that Boetsch was going to be championship material. Physically, he didn't match up well with the large, swift athletes who have been dominating that division.

Boetsch's forte is his strength and his tenacity, which he can put to far better use as a 185-pounder.

It was a calculated risk. Boetsch typically walked around between 227 and 230 pounds when he was fighting as a light heavyweight. That meant he'd have to slim down a staggering 45 pounds to make the middleweight limit.

But, Boetsch said, "it was a relatively quick decision" because of what it could mean for his career.

The likelihood would be strong that if he could make the weight and still be healthy, he'd be more powerful than most of the middleweights he'd face. One of the most enduring images of Boetsch in the Octagon was from his debut in 2008, when he literally threw David Heath onto his head.

That was pretty clear-cut evidence of his strength and power against a light heavyweight.

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Michael Vick: Telling son about prison sentence was 'toughest moment of my life'
Tim Brown: Chipper Jones says Braves need help for playoff push
Dan Wetzel: NCAA should allow PSU players to transfer without restrictions

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Knockout Radio Podcast: Tim Boetsch, Din Thomas, and TUF Winner Valdir Araujo

  • 16 days ago
  • 2 views

Join Knockout Radio for the podcast of their May 7 broadcast featuring UFC main eventer Tim Boetsch, TUF 21 coach Din Thomas, and TUF 21 fight winner Valdir "Baby Monster" Araujo. read news >>

UFC 187 live chat and analysis (Yahoo Sports)

  • 2 days ago
  • 1 views

From Yahoo Sports: Join the Yahoo Sports crew as they break down the action from cageside in Las Vegas. read news >>

UFC 187 live chat and analysis (Yahoo Sports)

  • 2 days ago
  • 0 views

From Yahoo Sports: Join the Yahoo Sports crew as they break down the action from cageside in Las Vegas. read news >>

Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson reflect on not being able to beat the man to be the man (Yahoo Sports)

  • 25 days ago
  • 8 views

From Yahoo Sports: The light heavyweights are eager to fight for the title, but they wanted to knock off Jon Jones. read news >>

After tumultuous run, including missed weight in title fight, Melvin Guillard released by WSOF

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Melvin Guillard’s stint with WSOF will not be remembered as a peak moment in the Louisiana native’s career and it’s now come to an unremarkable end.Filed under: News, WSOF read news >>

Video: FOX Sports Live invites Paige VanZant to join the show, then makes her dance the 'Cabbage Patch'

  • 25 days ago
  • 294 views

Paige VanZant used to be a dancer. Then again, Tommy DeVito used to shine shoes. Despite the fact that VanZant (5-1) is enjoying a successful mixed martial arts (MMA) career, and is now 2-0 under the read news >>

Hector Lombard set to compete at ADCC 2015 in Brazil

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

UFC welterweight Hector Lombard will be back in action in August. Suspended for one year after testing positive for steroids following his win over Josh Burkman at UFC 182 in January, Lombard has bee read news >>

Dana White joins Yahoo Sports as analyst for Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC president Dana White has managed to evade the $11,000 entry fee for the 'Fight of the Century' by collaborating with Yahoo! Sports as a media analyst. It was recently announced that UFC president read news >>

The MMA Hour - 279 - Kevin Iole

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole talks Jon Jones, UFC 186 and the gigantic Mayweather vs. Pacquiao boxing match on Saturday night. read news >>