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Wednesday, 06/26/2013, 03:35 pm

EXCLUSIVE | Tim Boetsch: “I’m Prepared for Whatever Mark Munoz Can Throw at Me” | Late Night Cage Side Radio

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| Our boys Chase Raymond and Kinch were at it again with the latest episode of BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio. This week the fellas welcomed in UFC middleweight contender and UFC 162 participant, Tim Boetsch. “The Barbarian” will be taking on Mark Munoz as a part of the main card on the July 6th event in Las Vegas. Kinch and Chase asked Tim a barrage of questions regarding his martial arts background, his thoughts on Anderson vs. Weidman, and how he felt heading into next weekend’s UFC 162 bout with Munoz. Here are some of the highlights from that interview:

The conversation started by Boetsch talking about how he was feeling and how preparations were going. He explained, “One more week of hard training and then off to Vegas and uh, then just have to worry about making weight and staying sharp. But so far, so good.”

He was then asked how his weight cut was coming along. He replied, “Pretty good. I’m right about where I normally am. It’s usually not too bad until those last couple of days.”

The conversation then shifted and Boetsch was asked to comment on his previous fight, which was a loss to Costa Philippou at UFC 155. It was rumored that Boetsch had broke his hand in that fight and he suffered a severe eye poke during that bout as well. Boetsch explained, “I didn’t break my hand. I think that was a rumor started by Joe Rogan.”

He continued, “I was injured prior to the fight and certainly really blew that injury up in the first round.”

“The eye poke is what really threw me off. It’s very difficult when you’re fighting a striker as good Philippou if you literally see two of them standing in front of you.”

Luckily, even though Boetsch suffered a TKO loss in that fight, he didn’t sustain any long-term or permanent damage to his eye. Boetsch assured BJPenn.com, “The eye healed very well. No vision problems at all.”

He then spoke about how much he needed this next win as opposed to his last bout, since he’s coming off of a loss. Boetsch stated, “Honestly, for me, every fight is a must win. For whatever reason I don’t have that hype-train behind me or the marketability that some people say. So for me, I have to continually win.”

Boetsch is right. He’s definitely not one of the hyped middleweights in the UFC even though he’s proven that he’s one of the most skilled and rugged fighters in the company. But because he doesn’t necessarily have ‘star-power’ he has to let the wins speak for themselves. Boetsch said, “I consider myself a performance-based fighter.”

And then, on the topic of hyped fighters, Boetsch gave his opinion on Chris Weidman and his title shot against Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 162. Boetsch explained, “My stance on it is Weidman is 9-0, he’s a great fighter, he has a great skill-set, but I just think he started asking for that fight a little too early. I think it would have been beneficial for him to get a little more time in the octagon and get that experience. You know, he could prove me wrong and he very well may do that but it’s a big difference from fighting the guys he has been fighting to stepping up to fight the greatest fighter to ever enter the octagon and do it on his terms for five rounds…Weidman is going to be introduced to some very interesting situations if it goes into those championship rounds.”

Boetsch was then asked about his ‘coming-of-age’ performance against Yushin Okami. He talked about how he came from behind in that fight and really shocked the MMA world. He explained, “That, for me, was the first time that I really realized my potential as a fighter.”

Boetsch went on giving credit to his coach at AMC Pankration, Matt Hume, as well. He explained, “The guy is incredible. They call him The Wizard for a reason. I’ve been training out here for the better part of about 4 years now and everyday I’m learning something new.” He continued, “He has very high expectations for all of his fighters and that’s something we really strive to live up to and I’m really proud to be a part of his camp.”

Tim Boetsch was then asked to comment on his martial arts background and his connection to Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee’s form of martial arts. Boetsch stated, “The philosophy of JKD just lines up with what we know as MMA today. It’s a combination of everything. Not one specific style but whatever style works for your body type or what you’re good at. And for me that’s kind of the essence of what we do.”

He also talked about having the right mind set as a martial artist rather than just a fighter. Boetsch explained, “I think if you neglect any part of it you’re not going to fulfill your potential.”

“The Barbarian”, who has yet to come across his chance at gaining UFC gold, is still in the hunt for the strap. However, he feels that there is more to a fighter than his credentials and titles. Boetsch explained what he thinks it takes to get into the UFC Hall of Fame and how he would like to be remembered by saying, “I think it’s more about your impact on the sport because obviously there were guys who weren’t champions that have made huge impressions on, not only fans, but other fighters.” He continued, “I want to be remembered as a fighter that inspired other people to do great things.”

The conversation then shined back on Tim’s upcoming fight at UFC 162 with Mark Munoz. He first touched on how his camp has gone and how he feels at this point in time. He stated, “This camp has gone really well. I physically feel good, like I said my weight is just about where I want it to be, and feeling sharp. Just finished up my training session tonight and it was probably the best one I’ve had so far, so definitely headed in the right direction.”

He then gave his prediction on how he felt Munoz (who is a D1 Wrestling National Champion) was going to approach the fight. He explained, “I sort of expect him to go to his bread and butter. You know, he’s been out of it for a while, like you said. I’m certain he wants to get the ball rolling and headed back in the right direction. But, you know, it’s my job to make sure that that doesn’t happen so, I’m preparing for whatever Mark Munoz can throw at me and I feel very confident coming into this fight that I’m going to be able to shut him down no matter where he wants to take the fight.”

If he can enforce his own game plan and shut down the attack of Munoz, Boetsch feel that he should be able to leave Las Vegas with another win on his record. Boetsch, in giving his final thoughts on how he felt the fight was going to play out, said, “I believe it’s going to be a war. Munoz coming off of a loss, me coming off of a loss, we both have something to prove. We both want to stay in the top 10. We both want that belt and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there. He’s a hard-nosed D1 wrestler, so am I. His credentials might be a little better than mine in wrestling but I think my credentials in fighting are a little better. So it’s going to make for an explosive style fight. We both throw heavy hands and it’s 4th of July weekend. Fans are going to be watching and we’re both going to put it on the line. I think it’s going to be an exciting fight…I don’t know if it’ll be fight of the night but I believe I’m taking home one of the bonuses. We’ll see which one it is.”

To listen to the entire interview with Tim Boetsch on Late Night Cage Side RADIO click here and for more exclusive MMA interviews and UFC 162 updates stay posted to BJPenn.com

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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