Tim Boetsch vs. Omari Akhmedov
|Date & Time||Saturday March 9, 2019, 8:00 PM (EST)|
Intrust Bank Arena
The Line: Boetsch +113 / Akhmedov -127 -- Over/Under:
Tim Boetsch and Omari Akhmedov fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN+ 4 at the Intrust Bank Arena.
Tim Boetsch enters this fight with a 21-12 record and has won 62 percent of his fights by knockout. Boetsch has split his last six fights and is coming off an April loss to Antonio Carlos Junior. Boetsch is averaging 2.94 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 51 percent. Boetsch is averaging 1.56 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 35 percent. Boetsch has been on the losing end in five of his last eight fights, but the good news is that each of his last 10 bouts have ended in finishes, so he at least brings excitement to the octagon. Boetsch comes from a wrestling background, but he’s an old school brawler at heart who relies on powerful striking and physical takedown ability. Boetsch has great power in his hands and will unleash devastating knees when he gets the chance. Boetsch also has a strong ground and pound once on the canvas and five of his last seven victories have ended in knockout. The downside is Boetsch has been finished nine times in 12 career losses and you have to question if the ware and tear of his fights and being 38 years old is catching up to him. This will be Boetsch’s first career fight in Kansas.
Omari Akhmedov enters this fight with a 17-4-1 record and has won 41 percent of his fights by knockout. Akhmedov has won seven of his last 10 fights and is coming off a 2017 draw against Marvin Vettori. Akhmedov is averaging 3.01 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 33 percent. Akhmedov is averaging 2.89 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 51 percent. Akhmedov pulled out of UFC Fight Night 136, so it’s been 15 months since we’ve seen the Russian in the octagon. Akhmedov is one of those fighters who should really be higher in UFC conversations given his background, but for whatever reason things haven’t worked out the way they should. Akhmedov is a polished standup striker with pure power and a tough chin, and he’s more than capable of holding his own on the canvas due to his background in combat sambo. Akhmedov is highly successful with his takedowns, has a good ground and pound and has shown throughout his career he’s capable of finding submission holds to finish fights. The balanced attack is there for Akhmedov to be bigger than he is. This will be Akhmedov’s first career fight in Kansas.
I strongly considered backing Boetsch and the plus money simply due to his knockout power and downright physical, brutal standup where he can just bully his opponent. I also have concerns of rust for Akhmedov given he’s been out of the octagon for over a year. With that said, Akhmedov is the more balanced fighter who has the striking to hang with Boetsch, but he also has a clear edge if this fight goes to the ground. Akhmedov is also the better conditioned fighter between the two, and he should cruise to victory if he can take Boetsch into the second or third rounds.
I wouldn’t be shocked if the American lands a clean shot and ends things early, but outside of that, this is a fight Akhmedov should win.