Mason Fowler laid out the possibility that the first man to beat him could overthrow him for Fighter of the Year. Could Kyle Boehm be that man?
Seemingly out of nowhere, Fowler rose to a reign of dominance in the BJJ world last year with two wins over Craig Jones. Fast forward a couple of months and Chael Sonnen is staring down the barrel of naming the promotion after the new king of Submission Underground.
One by one, BJJ practitioner after BJJ practitioner, MMA star after MMA star, they’ve all been forced to bend the knee.
What’s next for Fowler? The question was so difficult to answer, Sonnen and the rest of the SUG crew made a tournament out of SUG 24. You win, you might just be good enough to take on the 2020 FIGHT PASS Fighter of the Year.
After bringing home two wins inside a minute, Kyle Boehm found himself in the finals against Pedro Marinho. After a stalemate inside regulation, Boehm sunk a rear naked choke in overtime and punched his ticket to a July 18 showdown with Fowler.
“In this ruleset he’s as good as anybody except for myself,” Boehm said of Fowler. “I think he’s beat Craig twice in these rules and he just has a different skill set than those guys. His skillset works extremely well for these particular rules. When it comes to the rules we’re competing under, he’s for sure one of the very top guys in the world right now.”
Foregoing watching the showing at SUG 24 that led him to his SUG 25 opportunity, Boehm has devoted a large portion of his screen time to Fowler.
“He’s really hard to submit,” Boehm said. “His overtime round escapes are really good. His escapes from armbar and his escapes from back are both really good too.”
With an in-depth understanding of what Fowler brings to the table, Boehm is already confident enough that he doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel to defeat Fowler and over preparation won’t be an issue.
Feeling stronger in all aspects while also being a pretty large underdog doesn’t get in Boehm’s head at all; it actually puts him right where he wants to be.
Although Boehm does carry a great amount of confidence with him to the SUG cage for his title match, the title and the win are at the forefront of his mind. As far as leapfrogging Fowler in anybody’s “Fighter of the Year” conversation, keep it moving.
“I’m not too worried about anybody’s accolades or anything like that,” Boehm said. “I don’t know how or what criteria anybody uses to determine that. I don’t know what the criteria is to see who they’re going to give those to. If it ends up happening, that’s great, but I’m too worried about it.”
Catch Kyle Boehm vs Mason Fowler at Submission Underground 25 LIVE Sunday, July 18, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!