This Saturday night, UFC 162 will present us with a championship bout and a handful of other great fights. Without a doubt, at least for me, the Tim Boetsch vs Mark Munoz match-up is one of the more compelling ones. Both gentlemen are coming from disappointing losses, and will have something to prove in this fight. I doubt either one is on the imminent 'cut list', due to the middleweight division not being as deep as some of the other weight classes.
Munoz will be coming off a year of inactivity, however, he has found the Fountain of Youth, and may not exhibit any signs of ring rust. Boetsch is coming off a seven month stretch, which is still an eternity by MMA standards. Both men claim to be injury free, and what's more important, they are stylistically similar. All the mentioned factors should make for a great slobber-knocker.
I recently interviewed Boetsch on MMA Sentinel Radio with Iain Kidd, and got his thoughts on the upcoming bout with Munoz, TRT, Vitor Belfort, where he feels he fits in the rankings and fighter pay. He also gave some insight on what it's like to train with Matt Hume. Here's what the man they call The Barbarian had to say:
I don't believe Mark is going to be a different fighter than he once was. I think it's the responsible thing to do, to keep your weight under control. You don't want that to be a big issue or a deciding factor in your fights. That's just part of being a professional, and I'm very glad he realized that. As far as that changing him as a fighter ... I don't think it's going to have too much effect.
I certainly expect Mark to be in great shape and ready to fight, and that's what I'm preparing for. I'm sure he's highly motivated to win, and I'm expecting to see the best Mark Munoz that we've seen in a while, but as far as him changing as a fighter, I don't think that's going to happen.
Training with Matt Hume
Well, I'd like to say it's always a pleasure working with Matt, but often times it's quite the opposite. That's why I like him so much. He really knows how to push his athletes. He's just an amazing coach, and his knowledge of this sport just has no end. I've been training with him for four years now, and I'm sure we're just scraping the surface of what he knows. It's an incredible experience to be able to work with him, and then take that knowledge into the octagon and perform to the best of my abilities.
Just last week, we saw Matt putting the pads on, and getting geared up. Everybody kind of looks at each other like, 'Alright, looks like we're getting beat up today.' He definitely gets in the mix, and he still puts it on all the guys. He's very legit.
I can tell you a story about how he tried to drown me last week, with a couple of bricks. So, one of the things we do here, is we do a lot of pool work outs. Typically, when you see Matt's truck at the parking lot of the pool, you know you're in for a strenuous workout. Sure enough, we get in there, and there are all kinds of diving bricks laid alongside the pool. I've been through it before, so I take a deep breath, go in there, and start treading water.
There's a group of fighters in the pool, and he continues to hand us bricks until we're all barely keeping our mouths above water, choking and spewing, and the rest of the pool are looking at us like, 'What are those idiots doing over there?' This is a public pool, so there are all these people trying to swim laps with all this commotion and near death experiences going on next to them [laughs].You can see the lifeguard sort of closing in on us, and that's about the time Matt will finally take the bricks from us, when the lifeguards are about to kick us out of the pool, because he's about to drown one of us.
Feelings About UFC Pay
They take care of me. The way I look at it, is I get to wake up every morning and do a job that I absolutely love, and I can support my family and pay my bills. I'm doing something that I really enjoy. Of course, everybody wants to get paid more, but I think that my day will come when I can get into that upper level of the pay scale. I'm certainly not going to complain that I'm not getting enough money, because I'm able to support my family at this point.
Needing Another Fight This Year
I definitely need another fight this year. I've got a family to support and bills to pay, so I can't afford not to fight again this year. I like to fight three times a year. The schedule I'm on, it looks like I'm only going to get two in this year, so, you know, we'll definitely have to stick to our budget.
It sort of bothers me, and I'm not sure why it happens. If I beat enough guys, I think it's going to be hard to ignore me. Certainly, a win over Munoz gets me headed in the right direction again. There's going to come a day when people are going to have to admit that, 'Hey, maybe this Tim Boetsch guy is legit', you know?
I like coming into fights an underdog. For me, it lights a fire underneath me, and makes me feel like I have something to prove. I like coming out on top when I'm supposed to lose, especially like in Japan. That was a very adverse situation, going over there and taking on the time change, the long flight, the different diet over there, and still coming out with the win in a fight everybody expected me to lose. It just feels good. It feels good to win. That's the bottom line.
Thoughts On Vitor Belfort and TRT
For me, I understand the advantage of being able to train harder and recover faster, all of those things. I think somewhere in the back of his mind, he understands that without TRT, he wouldn't be able to perform at the level he is performing. I honestly look at it, a lot of times, as a disadvantage. If you need that to perform at a high level, then it's not really you anymore. If Mother Nature is telling you, 'Hey, we're not making enough testosterone', then maybe it's time for you to retire.
If we ever cross paths, I won't be that concerned about it. I know what I'm capable of doing on a natural level, and if he needs to do that just to prolong his career, that's his choice. Technically, I'm not sure how he's pulling it off, but if that's the road he wants to go down, he can do that.
You can follow Tim via his Twitter account, @TimBoetsch