UFC 166: Tim Boetsch Believes it’s “Kind of Do or Die Time” After Consecutive Losses
By Kelsey Mowatt
This time last year, Tim Boetsch wasn’t far removed from wins over established middleweights Hector Lombard and Yushin Okami, and as a result, “The Barbarian” was poised to enter the title shot mix. Unfortunately for the 32 year-old, however, his rise up the middleweight ranks came to a halt due to back-to-losses to Costa Philippou and Mark Munoz. Now, not only is Boetsch eager to demonstrate at UFC 166 that he’s still a top ten 185’er, but he knows a third straight loss can be dangerous for any fighter’s UFC tenure.
“The Munoz fight comes along and sure enough a very similar thing happens, I kind of go in the tank,” Boetsch said recently on Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing his loss to Munoz and what’s riding on his October 19th bout with CB Dollaway (13-4). “I didn’t have an injury that fight, but I think any fighter who’s been in sport for any kind of time, understands what going in the tank is all about. You’re just not doing the things you’re trained to do. For some reason you can’t get out of that funk. Mark was able to take advantage of that…I was very disappointed in that fight as well.”
“This is kind of do or die time for me,” Boetsch furthered. “I’ve never had two losses in a row; certainly don’t want to make it three…fighters with three losses in a row in the UFC often times don’t hang around very long. So, just for the sake of job security, I’ve got to be sure to win this fight.”
Boetsch (16-6) has been been down a similar road before as a light-heavyweight, as following a loss to Jason Brilz in 2009, he was let go by the UFC. The AMC Pankration fighter proceeded to win three straight fights on the regional circuit, before returning to the Octagon in 2010.
“Being a guy who’s been cut and battled his way back, I really understand my last shot,” said Boetsch. “I definitely have to take advantage of it. I’m training really hard, really focused, and I know what I need to do on fight night.”
“If everything comes together the way we’ve planned, then I’ll definitely be getting my hand raised at the end of the fight.”
Originally, Boetsch was scheduled to fight former Strikeforce champ Luke Rockhold at the event, but the latter was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. Stylistically, there are some significant differences between the two, as Rockhold is more widely known for his striking skills, while much of Dollaway’s success has stemmed from his wrestling.
“For me it’s just a matter of getting the timing right,” said Boetsch, when asked if one fighter’s approach matches up with his abilities better than the others. “Getting the techniques down and like you said, tweaking it a little bit. Obviously they’re two different fights, and only a couple of weeks notice on CB. So preparing for a wrestler, and like you said, he’s got some sneaky submissions that he tries to get in there every once and a while.”
“He’s still pretty rangy; he’s going to be taller than I am,” the 5’11 tall Boetsch added about the 6’2 Dolloway, who’s coming off wins over Jason Miller and Daniel Sarafian. “Not quite as rangy as Luke Rockhold, and I don’t think he knows how to use his range as good as Rockhold, but that is something that will transfer from our training for Luke.”
UFC 166 will be hosted by Houston’s Toyota Center, and will feature heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez fighting Junior dos Santos for a third time in the main event.