Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch
Pro Record: 21 wins & 11 losses
Association: Team Irish
Weight Class: Middleweight/Light Heavyweight
In this week’s addition of Fighter of the Week we take a look at Tim Boetsch, who beat former 170 pound champion Johnny Hendricks in the second round of UFC Fight Night 112. Boetsch continues to prove he’s a formidable opponent and his fights always bring excitement. Actually, all nine of his last fights following a decision win over C.B. Dolloway at UFC 166, have ended with a finish and none have made it to the round 3. While Boetsch hasn’t always been on the winning end of those finishes he’s had his share and continues to be one of the few UFC mainstays for the last seven years because, in part, the excitement his fights bring. Aside from the excitement his fights bring, Boetsch just seems to be an all-around blue-collar good guy… and it’s easy to root for a guy like that. Let’s take a deeper look at how Boetsch got here.
Boetsch was born in Lincolnville, Maine and began wrestling at a young age, due to admiring watching his older brother Aaron. Boetsch was an athletic kid, playing most sports growing up but it was wrestling that he was determined to focus on and by high school he gave up everything else to pursue it. He had such a good career in high school, becoming a four-time State champion that he was inducted into the Maine Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012. His high school successes would lead him to a wrestling scholarship at Lock Haven University, Pennsylvania. There, he wouldn’t have the same success he saw in high school, saying he was never able to settle into the right weight-class, however it is where he met his wife, Jade.
After earning a degree in criminal justice, Boetsch would work as a social worker for troubled youth and start his own business in his hometown as a landscaper. He would soon get an unexpected phone call from his friend and college roommate, Mike Sechalevich, who was training at the time with Pat Miletich, asking him to come to Iowa for a couple of fights. Tim accepted, without any formal MMA training, winning both of those fights before returning to Pennsylvania. Boetsch was hooked. It wasn’t long before he started training and turned pro right away finishing his first six opponents at the professional level. Then he got a call from the IFL to fight Vladimir Matyushenko on just three days’ notice. At the time, Matyushenko was considered a top level fighter, even fighting for the UFC Lightweight Title just a few years before, losing to Tito Ortiz in his prime. Nobody wanted to fight Matyushenko because he was finishing everyone he faced. Boetsch, however, accepted the challenge. Boetsch lost a controversial decision, however, giving him to date his only career loss outside the UFC. All was not lost, though. His performance caught the eye of the UFC who immediately signed him fight David Heath at UFC 81.
Boetsch went into his fight with Heath on ten days’ notice and a big underdog, even though Heath was coming off of two losses to Lyoto Machida and Renato Sobral. Boetsch would make it three in a row in devastating fashion, out-striking Heath and knocking him out at the end of round 1. This put Boetsch on the map and propelled him to a fight with another fan-favorite Matt Hammill who was coming off his disappointing and controversial fight with fellow TUF 3 alum, Michael Bisping. Boetsch would have success early in the fight including splitting Hammill’s lip with a knee, however he would go down by TKO in round 2. After alternating a win and another loss, Boetsch would be cut by the UFC. He was determined to make it back, however, saying he belonged there. And after three straight wins out of the organization, he was re-signed to fight at UFC 117 against Todd Brown and would win by decision.
Since his return to the UFC at UFC 117 in 2010, Boetsch has only fought for the UFC. After pulling off four straight victories after moving down to middleweight, capped off by a split decision win over Hector Lombard, many thought he’d be in line for a title shot. He was schedule to face Chris Weidman at UFC 155, however Weidman was injured and forced to withdraw. His replacement, Costas Philippou was able to finish Boetsch by TKO in round 3, removing Boetsch from title contention. Boetsch would see mixed results leading to his fight with Hendricks, twice winning fight and performance of the night bonuses, however. Coming off a loss to Ronaldo Souza, he was matched against one time UFC welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks.
Despite moving up in weight class, Hendricks would miss weight for the fight with Boetsch. Boetsch said that he and his coaches even joked about Hendricks missing weight, given his past issues, but thinking Hendricks would be fine since this was a middleweight fight. Despite just being two pounds away with over an hour left to weigh-in, Hendricks refused to attempt to make weight giving Boetsch 20% of his purse and forcing a catch-weight bout at 188 lbs. Boetsch said afterwards he found it very unprofessional and thought Hendricks may have taken him lightly. If he did, it was an obvious mistake as Boetsch was able to weather some early success by Hendricks and would TKO him with a head kick and punches early in round 2 earning him his 3rd career UFC bonus for Performance of the Night. I don’t know what’s next for Boetsch but one thing is certain… this guy brings it every fight. Can’t wait to see what’s next for him.