by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
After winning a fight on an Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view, some fighters would be spending their fist few days afterwards partying it up and enjoying the excesses that come with being a high-level mixed martial artist.
Not Jason Brilz.
Shortly after defeating Tim Boetsch in a three-round war of wills at UFC 96 on Saturday, Brilz spent the day relaxing with his two young daughters, taking them to the mall to enjoy a day of shopping.
Such is the demeanor of one of the light-heavyweight division’s best up and coming fighters.
Still, with his victory in hand and enjoying getting back to the quiet life he so cherishes, things could have gone better in the fight according to Brilz.
“It was decent, I guess,” he lamented of his performance last Saturday night. “Pretty much I followed my game plan – not so much in the first round – but in the second and third round. So, other than the first round, it went pretty well I guess.”
Early in the fight Boetsch landed heavy shots, putting Brilz in survival mode early until he could regain his bearings and get the upper hand in the second and third rounds.
“After he hit me with the first couple shots, everything went out the window and all I wanted to do was hit him back,” admitted Brilz. “It wasn’t the best strategy, obviously.
“I never could really find my range on him. I’m still learning a lot of the little things about the striking. Once you start getting hit, everything you’re trying to focus on sort of goes out the window and you resort to some bad habits.”
After weathering the early onslaught, Brilz put together a solid final 10 minutes of the fight, dominating position with takedowns and transitions, keeping the fight off the feet, earning a 29-28 unanimous decision victory on all three judges’ cards.
Now he finds himself in an enviable position, undefeated in two UFC fights and riding a 13-fight undefeated streak (including one draw) overall. As always however, Brilz is looking forward to his next test.
“I feel real good where I’m at,” he stated. “I don’t think you get very many easy fights in the UFC. Whether I won or lost, I’m sure my next match is going to be tougher – which is exactly what I want – I don’t want easy fights.
“I like to challenge myself and see where I’m at. I’d like to see my skills put up against somebody good. Hopefully they’ll give me a good jiu-jitsu guy or something like that. I’d like to see how I do against a good ground guy”
Brilz hasn’t had an opportunity to speak with UFC management about his next move, but he would like to compete again in his hometown if possible.
“I usually e-mail (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva after a couple weeks just to thank them for the opportunity and stuff like that and then I’ll ask them what’s next,” he said. “I’ve heard a couple rumors about the UFC coming back to Omaha (Nebraska) for a pay-per-view, and that’d definitely be something I’d be interested in.
“Somebody said they’re pretty much booked up with fights through August, which works well for me. If I had to take off until September or October, I’d have no problem with that.”
Unlike other fighters who get caught up in the moment and are generally in a hurry to get somewhere, Brilz is a fighter who enjoys his life outside the cage and will take things as they come. It’s a good trait to have as he continues to work his way up the 205-pound ladder.
“I’d like to thank some of my sponsors: CrossFit Omaha, Disorderly Conduct, Heartland Glass, Kinman Lawn Care and EGuard Mouth Guards,” he concluded. “Thanks also to my corner men from my gym, Premier Combat Center, and my outstanding training partners.
“To the fans, hopefully they can see me in the coming months. I have no preference to whom I (fight). Whomever they throw in front of me, I won’t turn down.”