Bobby Voelker: “Sometimes You Have to Fight Your Buddies”
Strikeforce welterweight discusses his new contract, title aspirations and Tyron Woodley
By Kelsey Mowatt
In many respects, Bobby Voelker made the most of what came his way in 2011, and as the year winds down things continue to look up for the 32 year-old-vet . Although Voelker competed just once this year, he did defeat Roger Bowling in their high profile, rubber match, to further establish himself as a contender in the Strikeforce welterweight division. Now, with just four weeks left in the campaign, news has surfaced that Strikeforce has resigned Voelker to a new, five fight deal. For Voelker and his supporters, 2012 is shaping up to be an interesting year.
“It feels great,” Voelker (24-8) told FCF when asked to comment on his new contract. “I’m just ready to go. I just want to get some fights going. Some bigger better fights and some bigger, better opponents.”
After stopping the highly regarded Bowling in the second round of their Challengers 17 main event bout this past July, Voelker’s Strikeforce record now stands at 4-1.
“I take it for what it is,” said Voelker about Zuffa’s recent commitment. “I think it shows that they have faith in me to put on good shows and that’s why they want me for five fights. I’m just going to make sure that I give them what they’re looking for.”
Aside from the fact that Strikeforce has locked up one of its more established welterweights, word of Voelker’s contract also made news, due to the uncertainty that currently surrounds the promotion. The MMA world continues to play the waiting game as to whether a new broadcasting deal between Showtime and Strikeforce will be signed, which could also determine whether the promotion continues operations in 2012.
“I really know nothing about any of that,” Voelker said, while discussing whether his new deal might serve as any indication in terms of Strikeforce’s future. “As long as they keep me on; as long as they last I’m happy. If they stay going on, I’m excited to be part of it, and if it doesn’t work out hopefully the UFC will take me over. As long as I stay busy as a fighter, that’s my main concern, but I do hope that Strikeforce keeps going, keeps going strong and develop the talent that they have.”
While Voelker is coming off the biggest win of his career, and is now armed with a new deal, the veteran admits that waiting on the sidelines to see what’s next hasn’t been easy.
“I’m stir crazy,” Voelker acknowledged. “My last fight before this last one, I had to wait nine months, now by the time I fight again it will be at least six months. If you look at my career I was fighting about every two months, so I’m really stir crazy and I’m ready to get it on.”
The good news for Voelker is that due to his recent successes, one would think that he’ll soon participate in that “bigger better” fight he seeks.
“Honestly, I want to get a title shot,” said Voelker, who believes his next fight will take place in early 2012. “I know that belt’s vacant, so I would like to take on whoever it takes to get that belt shot, as soon as possible.”
Assuming that Strikeforce is indeed in the picture next year, the general consensus is that the undefeated Tyron Woodley will be one of the men competing for the promotion’s vacant welterweight crown.
“Absolutely,” said Voelker while discussing Woodley’s title shot position. “Woodley’s the top contender I think. He’s undefeated; he’s proven that time and time again, he’s a great fighter and a great guy. He definitely deserves to be the number one guy in that position and I feel like I deserve to be that number two guy.”
“I love Woodley, good friends with him and everything, but when it comes to business sometimes you have to fight your buddies,” Voelker added. “I’m ready to fight whoever; whoever gives me an opportunity to get that belt.”