Yushin Okami looked to be in complete control of his fight with Tim Boetsch for the first two rounds in Japan at UFC 144, but Boetsch dug deep in the final round and produced a stunning come-from-behind win.
In the opening round the two men engaged in a striking battle and it was Okami who was getting by far the better of it.
Okami’s straight jab down the pipe was landing with tremendous accuracy, and that punch alone appeared to be responsible for two cuts that formed high on Okami’s cheek bones during this five minute spell.
The Japanese fighter was looking very assured in the striking and was throwing other strikes we’re not accustomed to seeing from him including head kicks and powerful knees to the stomach.
Meanwhile, Boetsch was having a hard time landing anything himself and was constantly switching stances as he tried in vain to find a way into the fight.
The second round started in much the same fashion with Okami still getting the better of the stand-up, before opting to go into the clinch and take Boetsch down.
He did so successfully and gave Boetsch no room to be able to get back to his feet as he worked his way past his guard and eventually ended up in full mount.
Okami wasn’t resting on his laurels in this dominant position however and looked for a triangle choke a couple of times and when that didn’t work he was hammering him with ground and pound.
Things looked bad for Boetsch heading into the final round, but he wasn’t finished yet and he came out strong looking for the finish right away.
His aggression and determination paid off almost immediately, putting Okami in reverse gear with a head kick that just grazed the Japanese fighter.
He then charged forward with punches and clipped Okami with a left hand that wobbled him and then got into a dirty boxing clinch and began firing away with a series of nasty uppercuts that really hurt his opponent.
Not letting him off the hook Boetsch again looked for the uppercut and it was just one too many for Okami who caved to the canvas, leaving just a few more strikes to be landed before the fight was brought to an end just 54 seconds into the round.
After a virtuoso performance from Okami in the first two rounds this was a remarkable turn of events and a very big win indeed for Boetsch.