Make no mistake, Tim Boetsch wants to earn a shot at the UFC middleweight title, but he wants to work to get there and not get handed anything.
Heading into UFC 155, Boetsch was expected to face fellow top ranked middleweight Chris Weidman, but a training injury forced the New Yorker out of the fight and into surgery.
In his place stepped his teammate Costa Philippou, who presents a very tough challenge, but does take away some of the hype for this fight, as it was originally touted as two top middleweights battling for a potential shot at the title.
Boetsch was disappointed with the turn of events, but it's nothing he hasn't dealt with before and he's sure he'll deal with it again.
“It's a bit more frustrating for me. I felt like this would really determine who the No. 1 contender was. Everybody has very high expectations of Chris, and I'm certainly on a tear; I've beaten two fairly high ranked opponents my last two fights. So I was very much looking forward to getting in the cage with Chris and seeing who came out the other side as the victor,” Boetsch told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“I was very upset that I wasn't going to get to fight Chris, but at the same time I feel for the guy. He's had a very rough year. A hurricane just ripped through and wrecked his house, now he's just got this injury, he just had surgery and he's in the recovery phase. My thoughts go out to him. Although it's not Chris Weidman, Costa's a tough guy and it's going to be an exciting fight. He's on a roll right now, he's a tough boxer and he's always looking to take people's heads off.”
In his last two fights, Boetsch has knocked off Yushin Okami and former Bellator champion Hector Lombard to solidify his place near the top of the middleweight rankings, but his name still doesn't get mentioned nearly as often as some others when talking about who will next take a shot at Anderson Silva's 185-pound crown.
Talking is the point because Boetsch is not a boastful fighter who claims anything is his, or that he needs to be handed the keys to the kingdom.
“For me that gets frustrating. Just because I'm one of those guys who isn't very vocal about calling people out and saying I deserve such and such an opponent. Michael (Bisping)‘s very good at that and he's made a career out of it, there are talks of him getting a title shot maybe before even I do, so he's done a good job of promoting himself and that's one way of doing it,” said Boetsch.
“I think the better way to do it, or the way I prefer to do it, is to step in the cage and beat people up, and eventually they're going to have to give me a title shot because I'm going to run out of people to beat up. That's how I plan on doing it.”
That's Boetsch's plan for Dec. 29 when he faces Costa Philippou, and if that doesn't earn him a shot at the title then he'll move onto another fight in 2013 and then another, if that's what it takes.
Boetsch wants to earn his shot at the belt and if that means two or three more wins first, then that's what he plans to do. He's not going to suddenly try to become a trash talker just to get a crack at the UFC middleweight belt.
“I am staying in the mix. I'm taking fights that the UFC is giving me; it doesn't matter the opponent. People have been injured and late replacements, and I'm willing to fight whoever they put in front of me. I just want to climb all the way to the top,” Boetsch stated.
“It doesn't matter if other people are out there running their mouths and trying to call people out and say what they deserve. I want to earn what I get.”