Next time, though, he hopes winning doesn’t come down to a third-round rally.
“I don’t think you can script a fight like this,” Boetsch told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “It’s certainly a heck of a thing to make a comeback like that, but I’ll be OK if I don’t have to make another comeback like that anytime soon. I’m OK if I can just go out and beat a guy up in the first round. You won’t hear me complain.”
Boetsch was battered on the feet and cut open in the first round. In the second, Okami mounted him and did even more damage.
“I just wasn’t doing anything right the first two rounds,” Boetsch said. “Letting Yushin control the distance that first round -- I watched the video and I saw I was standing right at the end of his punches. He was able to connect with some hard shots.”
The Okami that Boetsch encountered in the cage wasn’t the one he anticipated.
“I really expected him to back up more as I started to pressure, but he stood in there and was throwing down,” Boetsch said. “That threw me off a little bit. Maybe that’s why it took me a few rounds to adjust, but certainly I made the necessary adjustments in the third round and got it done.”
Behind on the scorecards, Boetsch came out in the third looking for the finish. He got it too, just 54 seconds into the period after a series of brutal uppercuts in the clinch.
“I had done a lot of training towards avoiding the clinch situation with Yushin because he’s been able to lock down guys so easily,” Boetsch said. “He goes with that over-under tie and locks his hands behind his opponent’s back and pretty much shuts things down. I was a little hesitant to get in that close with him, but at the same time I wanted to be right in the pocket there to throw my strikes. That’s where I was when I landed the shots that led to the finish. Certainly when I was landing those uppercuts I was in total control. I was maintaining the distance with my left hand and was able to throw those uppercuts and put them where I wanted to.”
Boetsch is also putting himself where he wants to be in the middleweight division. Since dropping to 185 pounds, he is 3-0 and quickly moving into the title hunt.
“I’d like to think I’m somewhere closer to the top five,” Boetsch said. “I’m definitely looking forward to fighting all those guys up there. We’ll give it some time and see who’s next. … I definitely feel like I’m getting closer to where I want to be, and that’s in a fight for that belt.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:14:27).