Tim Boetsch was working his way to a title shot when Costas Philippou upset him Dec. 29 at UFC 155.
The fight started well enough for Boetsch, but in the second round he was accidentally poked in the eye and never recovered.
“It was the eye poke that really changed things,” Boetsch told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “… I got eye-poked and then the head-butt where I was cut. I don’t mind the sight of my own blood at all. That’s never bothered me a bit, but certainly not being able to judge the distance of your opponent can affect your performance, and you saw in that fight it did.”
Boetsch survived the second round, but in the third he was clearly hampered as Philippou finished him off with punches.
“I don’t like to make excuses,” Boetsch said. “Philippou’s a tough guy. He hits hard. I congratulate him on getting that win, but that’s certainly one I’d like to have back and get a do-over. It really kind of ticked me off that I lost that fight. I went in there really believing I was going to come out of there with a ‘W’ and be well on my way to where I wanted to be. It’s a small setback. More than anything, I’m just looking forward to July 6 to get the ball rolling again.”
At UFC 162 Boetsch is set to meet Mark Munoz, who was also climbing the middleweight ladder before running into Chris Weidman in his last fight.
“He’s hard not to like,” Boetsch said of his opponent. “He’s a good guy and he’s got a great work ethic and he’s an exciting fighter to watch. I think fans enjoy watching him fight because he’s in there throwing heavy hands and he goes for the kill against his opponents. You can see that in his fighting style. He likes to really land big right hands and try to put guys away, and often times he’ll be pushing the pace. He looked a little bit off in his fight against Chris, but up to that point, he’d been very impressive, in my opinion, and that’s the Munoz I’m preparing for.”
Boetsch expects Munoz to use some movement on the feet and to throw plenty of overhand rights. He also thinks the former NCAA champion wrestler will look to close the distance and work his clinch game.
“I’m sure they have a good game plan and they’re thinking of working the takedown and using some of his devastating ground-and-pound,” Boetsch added. “It’s going to be a mix of everything. I’m really expecting a fun fight in the sense that we’re going to see all different aspects of the game.”
Boetsch is also expecting a win that will get him back on track after the loss to Philippou. Besides losing that fight the way he did, he’s been less than pleased to see his slide out of the rankings.
“It’s motivation,” Boetsch said. “I want to get in there and start beating guys up again and start climbing back towards the top of the ladder, where I feel I belong.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 56:41).