Luke Rockhold, Tim Boetsch Booked for Middleweight Showdown at UFC 166 in Houston


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Luke Rockhold and Tim Boetsch will square off in a middleweight duel at UFC 166 in Houston.

UFC officials confirmed the booking to ESPN.com on Wednesday. UFC 166 takes place Oct. 19 at Houston’s Toyota Center and is headlined by a heavyweight title rubber match between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. The pay-per-view card will also see Roy Nelson battle Daniel Cormier, while Hector Lombard drops to 170 pounds for a welterweight showdown with Nate Marquardt.

Rockhold, 28, enters into his confrontation with Boetsch coming off his first loss in more than five years. The former Strikeforce champion made his UFC debut on May 18, suffering a first-round knockout courtesy of a Vitor Belfort wheel kick at UFC on FX 8. Rockhold won the Strikeforce belt from Ronaldo Souza in 2011 and defended the title twice, besting Keith Jardine and Tim Kennedy before the promotion folded earlier this year.

Boetsch has lost back-to-back fights, most recently relinquishing a unanimous decision to Mark Munoz on July 6 at UFC 162. “The Barbarian” dropped to middleweight in 2011 and rattled off four straight wins prior to hitting his recent skid, topping the likes of Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard before sustaining a third-round technical knockout at the hands of the hard-hitting Costas Philippou this past December at UFC 155.

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