Boetsch didn’t hesitate to accept the UFC’s offer to match him
against Yushin Okami
After accepting, though, Boetsch started to realize the magnitude
of the challenge: He has to travel across the planet to Japan to
fight the No. 3-ranked middleweight in the world on his own
“I made the decision fairly quickly, and then I started to think
about it,” Boetsch told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I was like, ‘This is kind
of stacked against me here.’ But at the end of the day, I was like,
‘You know what? You don’t get an opportunity like this every day.’
Actually it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was very happy to
take the fight. It’s a great matchup for me.”
Boetsch is 2-0 in the UFC since dropping to 185 pounds. One benefit
of the move is the strength advantage he enjoys against other
middleweights, but he doesn’t expect to have quite the same
edge against Okami.
“Word on the street is that Yushin’s very strong,” Boetsch said.
“Obviously he’s one of the bigger guys at middleweight. I don’t
expect to be able to do all the same techniques that I did in my
previous fights at middleweight, but I certainly know that strength
will be a factor. I know that I’m going to be able to execute some
sort of throw or some technique along those lines. That’s
definitely part of the game plan, to get a big takedown and score
those points and get that dominant position on him.”
In particular, Boetsch has been preparing for the clinch. He thinks
Okami will try to use the position to slow down the fight and also
“That’s a place I’m very comfortable with,” Boetsch said. “We’ve
been doing a lot of work this camp from the clinch, aggressively
attacking from there and working takedowns and just punishing the
guy in the clinch. I don’t want my opponents to think the clinch is
a place where they can take a break or rest. If he wants to clinch
it up, that’s fine. I’m going to do a lot of damage there.”
Okami has a knack for shutting down his opponent’s offense. If that
makes for a slow fight, the Japanese fighter doesn’t seem to mind.
Boetsch, however, said he hates lackluster bouts.
“I really do not want to play into that game at all,” he said. “I
want to keep the pace fast and I want to accumulate a lot of damage
on him as early in the fight as I can. I definitely want … to try
to break that on him and then really just discourage him in this
fight, which is going to be hard to do. It’s going to be in Japan.
He’s going to be bringing his ‘A’ game. I expect to see the best
Okami we’ve seen in a long time in my fight. It’s going to be a
battle, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 57:40).