Tim Boetsch is looking forward to giving high-profile UFC signing Hector Lombard a rude welcome to the Octagon when they meet Saturday at UFC 149.
“The guy’s got an amazing win streak going,” Boetsch told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Jordan Breen Show.” “I certainly feel very lucky to be the first guy to break that win streak and knock him out for the first time. That’s certainly an honor.”
Lombard holds a stellar 31-2 record. He was Bellator’s middleweight champion before moving to the UFC.
“He’s coming from Bellator, but he’s been promised big things over here,” Boetsch said. “Since he has accepted this fight, there’s rumors that he’d be next to get the title shot. Obviously that’s rattling around in my mind: Will I be given the same opportunity if I take him out? There’s a lot of good things about this fight for me.”
The matchup came together after Brian Stann dropped out of an Aug. 4 bout against Lombard due to injury and Michael Bisping withdrew from a bout against Boetsch for the same reason. Boetsch likes the change.
“When I heard the fight got switched to Hector, I kind of breathed a sigh of relief on one hand and then on the other hand I thought, ‘Well, now I’ve actually got a fight on my hands,’” Boetsch said. “But that’s a good thing in this sport. It’s certainly good for the fans. … The game plan with Michael Bisping involves a lot of just chasing him down and trying to get him to engage. That’s certainly not going to be a problem with Hector. He’s going to run across the cage and try to meet me in my corner if I let him. It’s a different fight, but I like it better. He’s going to come straight at me, and I’m going to be able to get him in the clinch and we’ll see whose throws are better.”
Boetsch explained that he’s not too worried about Lombard’s judo background. Instead, it’s the Cuban’s punching power that concerns him. In the clinch, Boetsch thinks he’ll be just fine.
“He’s obviously a judo Olympian, so he’s got to be decent, but that just makes me want to throw him even more,” Boetsch said. “That’s what I’m going to try to do.”
And what Lombard is going to try to do is hurt Boetsch. Boetsch knows that.
“These are the fights that I really enjoy,” he said. “My teammates, we spar hard and we beat the crap out of each other, but at the end of the day, they’re all really nice guys. We have similar personalities and what not, so it’s hard to really turn it on and put it on those types of people and even some of my opponents in the past. … But with a guy like Hector Lombard, it’s easy. He makes the fight easy. You know he’s coming in there to try to kill you. You better be doing the same to him if you want to make it out of there alive.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 56:55).