Bobby Voelker knew that if he was going to have to beat Roger Bowling for a second time, he was going to have to be at the top of his game this past Friday night at Strikeforce Challengers 17.
“I knew what he wanted to do, I knew how he was going to fight; it’s just kind of trying to keep up with that kid because he’s so explosive,” said Voelker.
“I really wanted to be more explosive in that first round and wanted to get things quicker, but unfortunately I’m still a slow starter and don’t get going until I get knocked around a little bit.”
After a slow start, Voelker was able to turn the tide in the second round, eventually managing to TKO Bowling at the halfway mark.
“After the first round, my trainer talked to me, and I went back out in the second round really listening to what he had to say,” Voelker told MMAWeekly.com. “I got after Roger a little bit more, and kind of felt like I started that second round as a different fighter.
“We clinched up and he took me down a few times, but I felt him exerting a lot of energy and getting tired. He got in that A-frame and I decided to throw the knee while at the same time he was backing out and he ran right into it. That was the beginning of the end.”
With the victory, Voelker has racked up three wins in a row, but he knows he needs to change the way he opens up fights if he wants to continue his success.
“I need to fix being a slow starter,” he admitted. “My opponents are going to see that and really try to go after me in the first round and try to take me out.
“They’re also going to see that it’s hard to put me away (early), but I need to get going, get moving, throwing more punches, and get more comfortable early in that first round rather than feeling things out so much.”
When asked if he felt his performance impressed Zuffa, the new ownership of Strikeforce, Voelker replied, “You’re going to have to ask them that, but I definitely hope so.
“I know they saw the heart and will I have and that I’m a tough kid that’s going for everything. I hope that impresses them. Of course, I need to get my technique and skill a little better – and I always try to make that better – so hopefully it will all come around.”
When he does get an opportunity to return to action, Voelker hopes he’s proven enough to get a shot at some of the bigger named fighters in the promotion.
“Well, since that belt’s open, I definitely want a shot; if not, if they want me to fight someone else, there’s a lot of guys out there,” he said. “There’s the winner of the Scott Smith (versus Tarec Saffiedine) fight that I’d love to fight, (Paul) Daley I’d love to fight; those guys are all good stand-up guys who are tough.
“I think they’d present a great challenge for me. That’s kind of what I prefer. I’m ready to step up and show my skills.”
With his trilogy of fights against Bowling complete and having come out on top, Voelker now turns his attentions towards furthering his career and becoming one of the top welterweights in Strikeforce.