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Feeling it: A UFC 96 interview exclusive with Tim Boetsch

UFC light heavyweight Tim Boetsch is set to make his third straight appearance inside the Octagon when he takes on the well-rounded Jason Brilz at UFC 96 "Jackson vs. Jardine" this Saturday, March 7, from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

"The Barbarian" made his debut against David Heath at UFC 81: "Breaking Point" last February in which he had less than two weeks to prepare after Tomasz Drwal went down with a knee injury at the last minute.

Boetsch filled in and put on a dominating performance against Heath, tossing him around the eight-sided cage and basically having his way with the tough UFC veteran until the referee called a halt to the action late in round one.

After a high-altitude hiccup against Matt Hamill at UFC Fight Night 13 back in April, he resumed his reign of terror on the 205-pound division with a TKO of Michael Patt at UFC 88.

Our partner in crime, Alex Alleman of Feel It Nutrition, had the chance to spend some time with Boetsch before his upcoming fight this weekend in Columbus.

Here's how it all went down.

Feel It Nutrition: Tim, how are you?

Tim Boetsch: Doing real good, it’s getting close to the fight here. I think I’ve done everything right and I’m gonna get in there and rumble.

Feel It Nutrition: That is the big question, are you ready to step into the Octagon?

Tim Boetsch: Absolutely, it’s been about six months since I’ve been in there, so I’m ready to mix it up.

Feel It Nutrition: We’ve certainly been anticipating this event and we know you are going to do really well. We have some questions for you in regards to you workouts and training, your fighting styles, and diet. You obviously are doing the right things Tim, so we’re glad to have a chance to sit down with you. When you have an upcoming fight, for instance, this weekend (UFC 96), how many weeks do you need to prepare in order to be at your top physical condition?

Tim Boetsch: Well, I was fortunate in this one. I actually knew about this fight for about 15 weeks in advance, so that period of time gives you plenty of time to plan out different phases of training. Ideal that is what you are suppose to do, break it up into phases, the first phase being a Strength and Explosive phase, and move into condition, all the while continuing to work on technique the whole time. As the fight gets closer, you have to start thinking about what weight class you’re going to be in. I’m a light-heavyweight, 205lbs., normally I’m walking around somewhere closer to 225-230lbs., so there is some cutting involved in order for me to make light heavy-weight, so that plays a factor. It definitely helps to have the right people on board; I have a strength and conditional specialist, and a nutritionist. They’ve been very helpful in my camp. They’ve helped me plan out all the phases and my
nutrition and supplementation for this fight.

Feel It Nutrition: We’d like to get into the specifics on that. Like you said, you do have some time to prepare for this weekend. This next question may bring back some memories of your debut fight, UFC 81, where you literally destroyed your opponent, with very little time before the fight to prepare. What is the minimum amount of time you would need to take on a fight and still feel confident?

Tim Boetsch: Well, the shortest fight I ever took was three days and I felt pretty confident going into that one, but it was at that point in my career I was anticipating fights coming up so I was keeping myself in a state of readiness and staying around my desired weight, 205lbs., so I didn’t get really far away from that, in that, if I needed to cut down to 205lbs., so I didn’t get very far away from that, knowing that if I needed to cut down to 205lbs, within a few days I’d be able to do it. But where I’m at in my career now, I’d like to have…4 weeks. Four weeks would give me plenty of time to get ready, to formulate a game plan, to go in there and do what I need to do to feel confident.

Feel It Nutrition: When preparing for any given fight, whether it’s four weeks or three days, how do you protect yourself from injuries?

Tim Boetsch: Well, you need training partners you trust. Partners that you are comfortable working out with, that know your abilities, you know their abilities. A lot of times, guys will get injured when starting out at a new gym, working with different partners; you may not know the flow of how the other person has been training. That’s a big part of it is having training partners. And it occurs in all phases of training. I really trust the guys I’m lifting with, as far as spotting, and what not. They know what I’m capable of doing, so if I need pushed a little bit harder they can do that safely. Basically, staying injury free is a critical part of having a career in Mixed Martial Arts.

Feel It Nutrition: You mentioned those various phases to training...What is your main focus during your strength and explosive phase?

Tim Boetsch: It’s at that point of the training where I’m trying to put on as much muscle mass as I can without hindering my flexibility. Flexibility is obviously and important thing for this sport. So it takes a critical balance there as I’m trying to put on the mass and increasing my explosive power, without hindering my flexibility. At the same time, I really work on building up my anaerobic capacity. There are a lot of points in a fight when you’re really going hard anaerobically, and you’ve got to be able to recover from that quickly. So, we implement training that improves that as well.

Feel It Nutrition: That leads well into the next question, Tim. When you’ve gone through your training phases and you’re getting closer and closer to the fight, how many days or weeks do you take before the fight to start tapering down your strength and conditioning programs?

Tim Boetsch: Well, I wouldn’t say we taper down; we more change what we are doing. Normally, in the past, I’d stop lifting two weeks or so before a fight; whereas, for this one, with my new trainer, I was lifting weights up to a week before the fight. We’ve changed to much higher repetitions, where we are using a lot more machines that keep me stable, less risk for injuring a joint or something along those lines. The lifting intensity was still there, but we’re going through different means. It is much safer.

Feel It Nutrition: You’ve mentioned you have lowered the weight lifting the second to last week before the fight. What has this last week been like for you? What has your training schedule looked like for you during these final days?

Tim Boetsch: Actually the last week leading up to the fight is very laid back. Our philosophy is to really cruise into the fight, make sure everything is healed up the best we can, nothing is broken down. We aren’t worried about any muscles needing any repair. So, there is no kind of muscle breakdown at all this week. I’m keeping the weight down, breaking a sweat every day. I’ll do a little bit of cardio, if needs be to keep the weight down, but this last week is really just a whole week of recovery and then by fight night my body should just be ready to explode.

Feel It Nutrition: You’ll be full of energy?

Tim Boetsch: Yes, ready to let it all go!

Feel It Nutrition: Tim, once the fight is over, how long do you give your body to recover? When will you resume a full training schedule?

Tim Boetsch: Ideally, if there is no broken bones or anything (laugh)…I’ll take another solid week off and then go back to the drawing board and see what worked the last training camp, what things didn’t work, what changes need to be made and then we’ll start back into our anaerobic and explosive, mass-building phase. Power-lifting and all that fun stuff will start back up again (laugh).

Feel It Nutrition: The next set of questions we have for you Tim get more into your fighting style. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty also. We’ll give you a chance to tell us more about your history and how you got into the fight scene. How long have you been fighting MMA?

Want more? For the second part of our Tim Boetsch interview, head over to Feel It Nutrition by clicking here. See you on the other side!

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