by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
After going 2-2 in his initial UFC run, light heavyweight Tim Boetsch realized that changes were needed if he was to make a second run in the Octagon.
It is with intentions on returning to the promotion that Boetsch sought out one of the sport’s premier trainers, and over the course of three fights, he dominated the competition, earning a spot at last weekend’s UFC 117.
“The biggest thing (that contributed to my UFC return) was I started training out in Washington with Matt Hume,” Boetsch told MMAWeekly.com. “I went out and did a camp out there for the fight against (Aaron) Stark, and obviously it paid off.
“I made a couple trips back to Hume’s over the course of the year preparing for the other fights and working on my game. I really improved technically out there quite a bit and I have a better understanding of what I need to do to be more effective as a fighter.”
It is with that newfound understanding and Boetsch’s determination that lead him back to the UFC after just over a year away.
“I believed that I would definitely make it back,” stated the 29-year-old. “I felt like it was too early in my career to never get back to the big show. So that was definitely my goal to hammer down and do what I needed to do to get some wins and get back in there, and that’s exactly what I did.
“Even thought I was out of the UFC, I never lost that edge. I stayed hungry, wanted to win, and beat guys decisively. I think that’s why I was able to get back in with just three wins under my belt.”
Originally slated to face Thiago Silva at UFC 117, Boetsch instead squared off against up-and-comer Todd Brown, winning the fight via unanimous decision.
“I was happy that Todd Brown was able to step up and take the fight,” said Boetsch. “My training wasn’t all for nothing, so I was definitely pumped up for that.
“Having said that, I want to finish all the fights I’m in, and I wasn’t able to do that this fight. So I was a little disappointed in my performance. But I got the unanimous decision – the first decision I’ve ever won – so I can check that off the list and focus on finishing my fights in the future.”
Having exploded onto the UFC scene in his first run with the company, Boetsch has learned from trying to accomplish too much too fast and intends a different strategy this time around.
“I’m not in a huge rush this time,” he admitted. “I think last time I was excited to be there and fighting every few months. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot of room to improve still, so I don’t really want to rush things.
“I definitely want things to mature at the right level and let things progress a little more slowly this time. That’s in the hands of the UFC and how they want to do it. I’m up for anything.”
One thing Boetsch does know for sure is what he wants his UFC legacy to be when all is said and done.
“I don’t want to be remembered as one of those guys who was just happy to have competed in the UFC,” exclaimed Boetsch. “I want to be remembered as hopefully the guy who wore the belt at some point.
“I don’t want to say I just fought in the UFC a couple of times. I want to say I fought the best guys in the UFC and beat them.”
With a second chance and a clear vision of how he wants it to play out, Boetsch’s return may indeed yield the kind of success he’s planning on in the coming year.
“I want to thank my family, training partners and sponsor Desert Tactical Arms,” said Boetsch in closing. “I definitely want to thank the fans for all their support. They definitely gave me a great welcome back.”