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Tim Boetsch: 'If I throw something, I'm throwing it with bad intent'

We all know how it usually goes. A fighter enters the Octagon for the first time and begins to feel the pressure. Though they fight as hard as they can, they find the crowd noise alarming. They can't breath like they usually do. Something is just missing from their performance.

In other words, most fighters have difficulty with the new surroundings and pressure associated with stepping into the Octagon for the first time. But every now and then you come across a guy that seems made to fight there. Nothing, not first time Octagon jitters; not their opponent; not even the fact that they're fighting on television gets in their way.

Well, after watching Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch dispose of David Heath at UFC 81, we're all left thinking that he may be that kind of fighter; one that's simply meant to step into the Octagon.

And lucky for us, Boetsch took the time to talk with MMAFighting.com's Robert Rousseau about what happened at UFC 81 and more.

MMAFighting.com: Congratulations on your win over David Heath.

Boetsch: Thank you very much.

MMAFighting.com: You were pretty dominant in that victory. Is that how you expected it all to play out?

Boetsch: I expected to be dominant, but not necessarily to dominate on our feet. I kind of thought I'd be able to take him down? I thought I'd have to take him down because of his striking. But as it turns out, it didn't go that way.

MMAFighting.com: For some fans, that was the first time they saw you fight. How would you describe your fighting style?

Boetsch: I do whatever it takes to win, really. If I can keep it on the feet and knock the guy out or be dominant in the striking, I'll do that. If I need to take it to the ground with my wrestling, I'll do that. I like to try and make it as exciting a fight as possible; those are the kind of fights I like to be in. I've watched the kind of lay and pray that some wrestlers do. They get a takedown and just kind of hang out. That's not exciting to watch. I want people to remember my fights, so I like to keep it exciting.

MMAFighting.com: You spoke a little bit about your wrestling background. Can you tell me about that?

Boetsch: I've wrestled my whole life. I started back in the fourth grade (and) went up all the way up to get a scholarship to wrestle at Lock Haven University. I wrestled there (and) that's where I met Mike C ( Mike Ciesnolevicz) and my wife and everything, so I'm really happy how that all worked out.

MMAFighting.com: I know that you have the wrestling background, but in this particular fight (against David Heath) it was really your striking that turned a lot of heads. People are talking about it left and right. You hit home with some solid knees and front kicks. Front kicks aren't really something that a lot of MMA guys are able to utilize very well. How come it works for you? What do you do different?

Boetsch: The one thing I do differently is that I use more of an offensive type front kick. I use my rear leg to get power on it. I use it as a weapon to actually do damage whereas some people use a front kick traditionally as a defensive keep a guy at a distance type technique. But that's not my style. If I throw something, I'm throwing it with bad intent. And that's what I do with that front kick.

MMAFighting.com: I saw that you have a Jeet Kune Do background. How much does that play into your ability to front kick effectively.

Boetsch: That plays in a lot. . . Going into a fight scenario, we're going to use all the techniques that we have available. The ones that work, we're going to stick with and mix it up and keep the guy guessing so he doesn't know where he could be defending.

MMAFighting.com: You talked a little about this already, but you've never won by anything other than stoppage. How important is it to you to be known as a guy that goes in there to end fights?

Boetsch: If a fight goes to decision I don't feel like I've won that fight. I've never been in that position yet. If a guy survives all three rounds to me he made it, you know? The object of a fight for me is to go in there and stop the guy. I'm not happy unless I go in and do that. That's how we train; we train real hard to fight for that finish.

MMAFighting.com: You spoke about training. Who do you train with?

Boetsch: We've got our own little training camp here in Sunbury. We have some real good guys here? mostly wrestlers? (and) a lot of us like to brawl. Obviously, we fight hard and we're fighting hard to get tough. Basically, that's what we've got here.

I do travel out to Iowa to train with Miletich and those guys. But primarily I train out here in Sunbury with my core group of guys.

MMAFighting.com: Is that how you met your manager, Monte Cox (through Miletich)?

Boetsch: I met Monte before because he managed Mike C. But I met (up with) him again at an Extreme Challenge show in Jersey and think that's where I caught his eye.

MMAFighting.com: Are there any fighters out there that you'd really love to compete against in the future? Any guy out there that you really think would make for a great fight?

Boetsch: I can't really name one in particular. The way the fight game goes, I want to fight whoever they put me up against to get me to the next rung on the ladder. I'm just going to fight everybody that it takes to get to the top.

MMAFighting.com: Anything you'd like to say to the fans?

Boetsch: I just want to say thanks to all the fans. The support's been great. And I'd like to tell them to expect more brutal fights from "The Barbarian".

MMAFighting.com: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me. Hopefully we get to do it again in the future.
Boetsch: I hope so.