Tim Boetsch turned it on as the fight wore on against Nick Ring. | File Photo: PR NEWSWIRE
Having recently made the move from 205 to 185 pounds, Tim Boetsch placed a new emphasis on cardio and diet.
In Boetsch’s mind, his newfound training regimen, coupled with his aggressive style in the cage, was the perfect recipe to give Nick Ring his first loss in the UFC. It had already proved successful in earning him a unanimous decision over Kendall Grove at UFC 130.
For one round of their UFC 135 scrap, Ring was able to avoid any significant damage from his opponent. Boetsch stalked the “Ultimate Fighter 11” alum as he circled the Octagon with little to show for it. Unable to find his range with punches, the 30-year-old was also stuffed on both of his takedown attempts in the opening frame. While it wasn’t a dominant five minutes for Ring, the Canadian appeared to be at least a half-step ahead of his opponent in taking the round on two judges’ scorecards.
In the second round, Boetsch’s approach began to pay dividends. As the two combatants split from a tie-up, he was able to connect with a solid right hand that dropped Ring to a knee. Suddenly, the unbeaten middleweight didn’t seem nearly as elusive as he had in the early going. For the remainder of the round, Boetsch was able to keep the fight in close, finishing with a flurry of punches followed by a kimura attempt as time expired.
Instead of simply headhunting like he did in the initial stanza, Boetsch experienced more success when he varied his attack.
“As soon as I started listening to my corner and throwing combos and closing distance, I was able to start hitting him,” Boetsch said in a postfight interview. “And he didn’t like that. I was able to land some really heavy shots.”
As he sat on his stool before the final period, Boetsch’s corner implored him to finish the fight. While the Maine native wasn’t able to deliver on that count, he did have enough energy to seal the victory. Ring was visibly exhausted in the third round, and Boetsch capitalized quickly. He connected with a couple hard left hooks in the early going and later tripped Ring down to the canvas, where he landed a few punches from inside his opponent’s guard.
As the action stalled, referee Mario Yamasaki called for a stand-up with about a minute and a half remaining. That set up the move that would punctuate Boetsch’s second victory at middleweight. As the two fighters clinched, Boetsch connected with a knee and then saw an opening.
“He relaxed a little bit in the clinch there. I think he was trying to catch a breath, and I was able to get my hips underneath him and get that nice throw,” Boetsch said.
That nice throw -- known as the “harai-goshi” -- looked like something straight out of a judo instructional video and sent Ring crashing to the canvas. The beautiful execution drew a roar of approval from the crowd at Denver’s Pepsi Center, and it also spelled the end of any comeback hopes for Ring. Boetsch moved to the crucifix position for a moment before finishing the bout standing and throwing punches down on Ring.
Though he also appeared to fatigue in the fight’s later stages, superior stamina and a more patient approach ultimately won the day for the former wrestler from Lock Haven University. Seeing his opponent wear down only gave Boetsch more incentive to take control.
“I certainly could tell towards the end of the second round, and certainly the third, that he was feeling the pressure a little bit, getting a little tired, so it just helped my confidence in later rounds,” he said.
While two wins in a weight class does not a contender make, Boetsch looks as though he has found a home at 185 pounds.
“I’m loving middleweight so far,” he said.