MMA Power Rankings -- MIDDLEWEIGHT

Updated: February 28, 2012, 6:00 AM ET
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Monday, Feb. 27
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One of the biggest underdogs on the UFC 144 card was Tim Boetsch, who was fighting perennial top five 185-pounder Yushin Okami on Okami's home turf. Things went exactly as most expected it would through two rounds, as Boetsch withstood abuse both on the feet and on the ground. Then the third round bell rang, and Boetsch pinned his proverbial ears back and brought the fight to Okami. He clipped Okami and sent him reeling to the fence, then pounced with some violent uppercuts. One of them crashed home flush, and Okami crumbled to the canvas in a surreal turn of events.

Boom -- just that fast, Boetsch had stormed back to win a fight that he'd all but lost.

While the loss sets Okami back in the middleweight rankings, it suddenly opens things up for Boetsch as a force in his new division, where he's now 3-0. Would Boetsch be able to handle the onslaught of the pound-for-pound best, Anderson Silva, who sits as a tyrant in all middleweight paths? That's very hard to imagine, but for now the Barbarian has a home at middleweight. And his fight at UFC 144 should serve as a blueprint to all fighters who find themselves down two rounds heading into the third. Let hell fly, because the worst that can happen is inevitable if you don't.