Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch Says “Eyes Will be Opened” in Bout with Nick Ring
By Kelsey Mowatt
Despite heading into UFC 123 last November armed with a four fight win streak, a seemingly renewed Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch was submitted by rising light-heavyweight Phil Davis; a title run at 205lbs. was not meant to be. After the defeat, however, the 30 year-old veteran decided to regroup at middleweight and made a victorious return in May, by overwhelming Kendall Grove for three rounds at UFC 130. Now, a few months removed from the win, Boetsch remains as confident as ever that he’s ready to do some damage at 185lbs.
“I just feel like a more efficient fighter,” Boetsch told FCF. “I still keep up with my weight training, strength and conditioning, and certainly I felt very strong in my last fight. I don’t think I lost any strength from where I was at 205. Honestly, I don’t even think I’m that much smaller than I was when I was fighting at light-heavyweight.”
After the loss to Davis, not only did Boetsch’s Octagon record sit at 3-3, but the former light-heavyweight concedes that the defeat reaffirmed some of his previous doubts.
“It was the Phil Davis fight but I had entertained the idea before that,” Boetsch said, while discussing the thought process that led to his decision to cut down to middleweight. “Some of the guys that I was training with back here didn’t really think I needed to, and I didn’t really want to because I hate cutting weight, something I’ve done most of life as a wrestler.”
“After fighting Davis I looked at myself and thought, well, if I want to be at the top of my game, I have to make some changes,” Boetsch added. “Phil Davis is just a beast you know? Seeing him walk around at the UFC and he’s just a huge guy. He’s got to be walking around at 230 or so and he’s certainly not carrying around any fat. Definitely made the right choice and I’m excited to start climbing the ladder at middleweight.”
Recently the UFC announced that Boetsch (13-4) will face Canadian Nick Ring (12-0) at the promotion’s upcoming September 24th event in Denver, Colorado. In contrast to some of his experiences at light-heavyweight, Boetsch isn’t concerned about whether he’ll have a size and strength advantage over the undefeated Ring.
“With Kendall I was able to overcome his reach, so I’m looking forward to be put in the cage with a similar sized fighter height and length wise,” said Boetsch. “Once I’m able to get a hold of him people are going to see my real power; how I can handle a similarly sized guy. It’s awkward throwing around a guy that’s nearly seven feet tall like Kendall…you get a hold of someone in a more compact package you can really get some lift. I think a lot of people’s eyes will be opened as to how powerful I can be at middleweight with this fight.”
While Ring has gone undefeated in his pro career to date, and has impressed observers with his striking and grappling, the wrestling and top game of Riki Fukuda gave the former TUF competitor serious difficulties when they met in February.
“He certainly relies on his Muay Thai quite a bit,” said Boetsch when asked to evaluate his next opponent. “In my mind I’m thinking he’s struggled with wrestlers and guys that have put him on his back, held him there; he didn’t really have an answer for that. He got that controversial win (against Fukuda); that fight looked one sided to me.”
“I feel like I can do a lot of damage from the top position,” Boetsch added, who will head out to Washington State once again to train with renowned MMA guru Matt Hume. “I think he’ll probably watch my most recent fight and see that’s a technique that I worked on, so I think he’ll probably really focus on trying to stop me from taking him down. I don’t think that’s something he’s going to be able to do.”