by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Tim Boetsch’s debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship was not your typical debut for a newcomer. It’s very common to see a fighter clam up, or overextend themselves early or even get knocked out in their first fight on the big stage, especially when called on short notice. However, Tim Boetsch is not your common fighter.

Boetsch showed some excellent striking skills and power against David Heath. He also had a notorious rag-doll-like throw on Heath that made mixed martial arts fans stand up and cheer. So after his impressive debut, it was natural that his newly acquired fans expected big things from him.

His next fight against Matt Hamill was also taken on short notice, however it did not go as planned for the Pennsylvania native. Hamill had controlled Boetsch and ended up finishing him in the second round. Boetsch was noticeably gassed in the fight and part of that may have been due to not training in high altitude. “Going up to Colorado really zapped me faster than I’ve ever been before,” commented Boetsch in a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “Not being able to recover like I usually can at lower altitude. That’s the worst thing in the world is losing and that motivates me even more to get back in there and perform and show people what I’m actually capable of doing.”

Boetsch will have the opportunity for redemption at UFC 88 when he will take on Michael Patt. Patt is playing taking Boetsch’s role as he was called on short notice to replace James Lee. “Sometimes that can really mess things up if you’ve been training for a specific opponent,” commented Boetsch when asked if the changing of opponents had an effect on his training. “But, the James Lee fight, I was planning on facing a guy with some submissions and had decent stand up. Mike Patt is pretty much that same criteria. He has real dangerous submissions and has some good stand up, so it’s the same fight in my opinion. I didn’t have to change anything.”

“The Barbarian” is not taking Patt lightly either and is expecting him to be in top physical condition for the fight, even though he wasn’t given a lot of time to prepare. “From what I understand, Mike Patt just fought a few weeks ago so he should be in pretty good shape. It’s a good opportunity for him and step up to the big stage.”

Even though Boetsch’s original opponent had dropped out, he was just happy that he was stil able to compete on this card. “Initially, when I heard James Lee was hurt, I was just crossing my fingers and hoping they would find somebody,” he explained. “I don’t like to sit on the bench or the sidelines very long. I like to get in there and stay active and do my thing. Mike Patt stepped up and I’m pumped to do it. I’m looking forward to fighting it.”

Not fighting on short notice is something that Boetsch actually had to adjust his training for, because his three previous fights all came up within weeks of the scheduled bout. “I actually had to pace myself initially,” said the 27-year-old. “I’m used to getting that call on short notice and pushing myself as hard as I can. As soon as I hung up the phone with my manager telling me I had a fight, I reminded myself not to train too hard because I’d burn out. This is a sport where you are doing so much and training at so many different angles that it’s easy to over-train. That’s almost as bad as under-training as far as the toll it takes on your body and whatnot. That was the main thing we had to watch out for with this amount of time and not overtrain.”

After Boetsch’s explosive debut, and the UFC handing out bonus checks for fight-of-the-night and knockout-of-the-night, he’s looking to put an exclamation point on the finishing of his opponent on Saturday night. “I’m just real excited to get in there because I’m feeling good, the training has been going good. Everything is just coming together here and I’m excited. I’m ready to get it there and get that bonus!”