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Tim Boetsch: Looking for the Knockout

Editor’s Note: The following article is a special contribution to by Matt Peterson of the New England Fights! podcast, which can heard free of charge at New

By Matt Peterson

With just a little over a week left until his televised bout with Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (3-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) on the most stacked SPIKE TV UFC Fight Night card ever, Tim “The Barbarian” Boestch (7-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) says he’s got the answer for Hamill’s striking and is “looking for the knockout.”

The Maine native and former Lock Haven University wrestler shared his thoughts on Hamill with host Matt Peterson on a recent episode of the New England Fights! podcast.

“If he comes out pushing the pace like I think he’s going to, I could see this fight ending in the first round,” Boetsch said on the show, which can heard free of charge at New “I hit pretty hard so it’s only going to take one shot to really change this fight. I don’t think it’s going to leave the first round.”

Boetsch started wrestling at a young age and attended high school in Camden Hills, Maine where he was a four-time State Champion and earned All-American honors his senior year by placing fourth at Nationals. Boestch went on to attend Lock Haven University, a Division 1 wrestling school, where he competed at heavyweight and sometimes gave up 60+ pounds to opponents. Boetsch states in the interview that he made the choice to go Division 1 because he wanted to test himself against the best.

At Lock Haven Boetsch roomed with current IFL fighter Mike Ciesnolevicz (13-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) who introduced Tim to the sport of mixed martial arts. Boestch won his first six fights before stepping up on a week’s notice to fight veteran Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (20-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) last August in the IFL. After three hard fought rounds Boetsch, who appeared to still be going strong at the end of the fight as “The Janitor” was fading, dropped a disappointing unanimous decision loss and vowed to change his game.

“Looking back on the Vladdy fight, if my striking had been better I would have easily won that fight,” Boetsch said. “It ticked me off that I didn’t bring the skill set to that fight when I could have been dominant, so I made it a point to really work on my striking.”

Boetsch then received the call to once again step in as a last-minute replacement, this time against David Heath (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in the UFC. Boetsch picked Heath apart with strikes, including some devastating front kicks, before catching Heath in the clinch, delivering several unanswered knees, and violently tossing Heath on his head before the ref stepped in to give Boetsch the TKO victory at 4:52 of Round 1.

When “The Barbarian” meets Hamill on April 2nd he’ll be facing arguably the toughest wrestler of his career. Hamill, a three-time NCAA Wrestling Division III National Champion, is most recently coming off a controversial split decision loss to Michael Bisping (14-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at UFC 75. However, Boetsch feels prepared.

“I train every fight to finish the fight and that’s exactly what I think is going to happen. I think my striking is slightly better than his and I know my wrestling is better than his, and I believe my jiu-jitsu is better than his,” Boetsch said. “If it goes the way I want it to we’re going to stand in there, our wrestling is going to cancel each other out, and we’re going to throw down. I just think I have the answer for what he brings to the table striking-wise. I’m looking for the knockout.”

In the interview Boetsch also discusses mental toughness, training in North Central Pennsylvania, and how he feels about a drop to middleweight. Visit for the complete interview.

  • mike wolfe says:

    This will be a turning point for the winner. Hamill has a great wrestling resume, but his striking is suspect at best. He still drops his hands after a few minutes, and a good chin won’t save him against a powerful striker. If Hamill wins, he has increased credibility and proves he isn’t just an overhyped TUF alumnus. On the other hand, if Boetsch wins, he proves he isn’t a “flash in the pan” and his win against Heath, whose conditioning and readiness seemed suspect, wasn’t a fluke. I like what I’ve seen from Boetsch, and think he’ll prevail.

  • Miko Rivera says:

    Hamill had the benefit of fighting guys who didn’t really belong in his weight class. This will be a real test for him.

    Tim showed no 1st timers “Octagon Shock” and if he comes in with the same mindset that he had for the David Heath fight then I think Boetsch via decision.

  • Ryder Die says:

    I agree – this is a turning point for both fighters. I agree as well when I think Boetsch will win too. I think his all around game will be utilized in a 3 round unanimous decision victory to make him 2-0 in the Octagon and ready to take on a A level fighter to prove his worth.

  • Cabelo says:

    I was excited to see Boetsch fight once I heard he was JKD practitioner, and was lovin the impact he had with those front push kicks, but I didn’t expect him to finish heath in such a, well, barbaric fashion. I’m really excited about this fight, and although I’m not sure his wrestling is better than Hamill, it’s the areas where the game overlaps that I think will win Boetsch the fight. Hamill’s last fight was lost, I believe, in his sloppy transitions between takedowns attempts and striking. I still thinnk he beat Bisping, but i feel that’s where the judges took points away.

  • Zane says:

    Red Neck JUDO!!!!Honestly, wasn’t that one of the best throws in an MMA fight?

  • JohnnyRev says:

    funny thing is Hamill is the better wrestler .. has competed on a international level and won… I was loving Tim’s fight against Heath but I think Hamill will GnP his way to a 2nd rd TKO …. I do think that both of these fighters have a ton of potential and won’t be going anywhere but up from here

  • platypus says:

    its always interesting to watch when two wrestlers go at it

    more exciting than when two high level bjj guys go at it, thats for sure, though nog vs werdum was awesome (im thinking of pdp vs monson)

  • Nick says:

    Holy shit. I didn’t know this fight was even happening till now. (Boetsch vs. Hamill)

    Boetsch is a monster and I predict him moving up fast in his division. I can only hope that he doesn’t crumble like Houston did.

  • Tim says:

    I am looking forward to putting on a good show for everyone. This fight will not go to judges decision!!!!

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    I don’t think this fight will depend on wrestling. Most of the times I’ve seen two top tier wrestlers or BJJ fighters tangle, they have too much respect for each other and it turns into a striking contest. Boetsch’s striking looks better to me, and I can’t imagine why he’d want to play to Hamill’s strength by going to the ground. Sprawl and brawl.

  • mo dogg says:

    So I thought Matt Boestch was from Subury PA, not Maine. Which is correct? is this another case of that cursed new england area trying to usurp sports?

  • Tim says:

    who is matt boetsch? I grew up in Lincolnvile Maine. I now live and train in Sunbury PA.

  • mo says:

    nice one Tim. thanks


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