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Tim Boetsch: Looking for the Knockout

Editor’s Note: The following article is a special contribution to FiveOuncesOfPain.com by Matt Peterson of the New England Fights! podcast, which can heard free of charge at New EnglandFights.com.

By Matt Peterson

With just a little over a week left until his televised bout with Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (3-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) on the most stacked SPIKE TV UFC Fight Night card ever, Tim “The Barbarian” Boestch (7-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) says he’s got the answer for Hamill’s striking and is “looking for the knockout.”

The Maine native and former Lock Haven University wrestler shared his thoughts on Hamill with host Matt Peterson on a recent episode of the New England Fights! podcast.

“If he comes out pushing the pace like I think he’s going to, I could see this fight ending in the first round,” Boetsch said on the show, which can heard free of charge at New EnglandFights.com. “I hit pretty hard so it’s only going to take one shot to really change this fight. I don’t think it’s going to leave the first round.”

Boetsch started wrestling at a young age and attended high school in Camden Hills, Maine where he was a four-time State Champion and earned All-American honors his senior year by placing fourth at Nationals. Boestch went on to attend Lock Haven University, a Division 1 wrestling school, where he competed at heavyweight and sometimes gave up 60+ pounds to opponents. Boetsch states in the interview that he made the choice to go Division 1 because he wanted to test himself against the best.

At Lock Haven Boetsch roomed with current IFL fighter Mike Ciesnolevicz (13-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) who introduced Tim to the sport of mixed martial arts. Boestch won his first six fights before stepping up on a week’s notice to fight veteran Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (20-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) last August in the IFL. After three hard fought rounds Boetsch, who appeared to still be going strong at the end of the fight as “The Janitor” was fading, dropped a disappointing unanimous decision loss and vowed to change his game.

“Looking back on the Vladdy fight, if my striking had been better I would have easily won that fight,” Boetsch said. “It ticked me off that I didn’t bring the skill set to that fight when I could have been dominant, so I made it a point to really work on my striking.”

Boetsch then received the call to once again step in as a last-minute replacement, this time against David Heath (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in the UFC. Boetsch picked Heath apart with strikes, including some devastating front kicks, before catching Heath in the clinch, delivering several unanswered knees, and violently tossing Heath on his head before the ref stepped in to give Boetsch the TKO victory at 4:52 of Round 1.

When “The Barbarian” meets Hamill on April 2nd he’ll be facing arguably the toughest wrestler of his career. Hamill, a three-time NCAA Wrestling Division III National Champion, is most recently coming off a controversial split decision loss to Michael Bisping (14-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at UFC 75. However, Boetsch feels prepared.

“I train every fight to finish the fight and that’s exactly what I think is going to happen. I think my striking is slightly better than his and I know my wrestling is better than his, and I believe my jiu-jitsu is better than his,” Boetsch said. “If it goes the way I want it to we’re going to stand in there, our wrestling is going to cancel each other out, and we’re going to throw down. I just think I have the answer for what he brings to the table striking-wise. I’m looking for the knockout.”

In the interview Boetsch also discusses mental toughness, training in North Central Pennsylvania, and how he feels about a drop to middleweight. Visit NewEnglandFights.com for the complete interview.