UFC 162’s Tim Boetsch Says Last Loss “Small Speed Bump”, Hoping to “Open People’s Eyes Again” Versus Mark Munoz
By Kelsey Mowatt
As 2012 was coming to an end, Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch was poised to enter the new year as one of the UFC’s top middleweight contenders, provided he defeated Costa Philippou at UFC 155. Boetsch had won four straight bouts since he elected to drop down from light-heavyweight, which included wins over perennial contender Yushin Okami and former Bellator champ Hector Lombard.
Unfortunately for Boetsch, however, the 32 year-old was stopped by the surging Philippou, leaving the middleweight fighting for his top ten ranking on July 6th when he faces Mark Munoz.
“Yeah, there was some issues leading up to the fight,” Boetsch relayed on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently. “But I’m not one to make excuses; everything happens for a reason and dropping that fight to Costa certainly did not sit well with me. Any loss, I feel like, sends you back to the drawing board and really makes you think and look at things, what you could have done differently.”
After being submitted by Phil Davis at UFC 123 in November, 2010, Boetsch made the drop to 185 and proceeded to score UD wins over Kendall Grove and Nick Ring, before facing Okami. Considering the Pennsylvania resident has gone 8-2 in his last 10 outings, it’s understandable why Boetsch isn’t letting the performance weaken his confidence.
“I have one or two things that I plan on changing, which may have affected the outcome of that fight,” Boetsch furthered. “All and all, I feel like that was a very small speed bump in my career. I’m not going to let that make me question who I am as a fighter or anything like that. Some guys take a loss and it blows up their whole world.”
“For me, that loss, I don’t know how to put it politely, but I’m not too concerned about that loss; I’m only looking towards the future right now and I feel like on any other day that fight would have turned out differently.”
In Munoz, Boetsch will take on another top ten ranked middleweight (Munoz is ranked #8) who is also coming off a disappointing loss. Last July, Munoz was overwhelmed by Chris Weidman and was viciously knocked out by the undefeated middleweight in the second round. The win launched Weidman into a title fight with champion Anderson Silva at UFC 162, while Munoz’s four fight win streak and rise up the middleweight ranks came to an abrupt halt.
“There’s a lot of hype behind him but for good reason,” Boetsch noted about the 35 year-old Munoz. “He’s got that wrestling pedigree which makes for a tough athlete. A national champion wrestler is no slouch when it comes to conditioning and just will to win. Those guys are on a whole other level than most other athletes. So, when he brings that to the table, that alone really sets him apart. When you add to it that he throws ridiculously heavy hands, both on the feet and the ground, the guy’s just dangerous everywhere. Those are the types of fighters that people love to watch.”
Like Munoz, Boetsch has also transitioned into MMA after a collegiate wrestling career, and has developed his striking and overall MMA game considerably in recent years.
“I feel comfortable wherever the fight goes,” Boetsch noted. “I think if Mark’s doing his homework, and I’m sure that he is, he’s studying tape, then he’s watching my last loss and sees I got TKO’d from the bottom position. So I believe he’s going to come out and try to put me on my back, use his heavy ground-and-pound technique to try to finish me…I think he’s going to try to play it safe; he’s going to try to put me on my back.”
“I think a win over Mark will sort of open people’s eyes again to ‘oh yeah, this guy has been beating top ten level fighters recently’, and that it will definitely get people maybe remembering that I am a decent fighter.”
UFC 162 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on July 6th.