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Tanner Boser of Canada celebrates after his knockout victory over Raphael Pessoa of Brazil in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Athletes

Tanner Boser’s Only Focus Is Winning

When it comes down to it, all that matters is winning fights. And even though his profile has grown, UFC heavyweight Tanner Boser has never been distracted from that reality.

In 2020, he added two knockout victories to his resume, and even though he lost a close decision to former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, Canada’s Boser is in a prime spot to crack the heavyweight top 15. But the truth is that breaking into the rankings isn’t even on Boser’s mind.

All that he’s focused on is leaving UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Sakai with a victory over Ilir Latifi this weekend.

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“I’m outside the top 15 and I have to beat Ilir Latifi and it’s one step at a time. I don’t care about rankings or any of that s***. I just have to win my fights,” Boser told UFC.com. “I want to be a good fighter; I want people to be like, ‘Oh yeah, Tanner Boser, that guy was pretty good.’ That’s it. I want to win more fights than I lose. I’m here to fight and I’m here to fight the best guys and hopefully I ended up fighting the best guys but I’m not going to sit here and fill my own head with delusions. One step at a time.”

Boser’s honesty is refreshing and it’s one of the reasons that his profile grew so much in 2020. While it may be nice, gaining popularity isn’t even close to a priority for the Bonnyville, Alberta native.

“You need to win; winning fights is the most important thing and everything else is completely secondary. There is nothing that even comes close to winning fights,” Boser said. “You have to win your fights. Right off the bat, that doubles your paycheck; it doesn’t matter how likable of a fella you are, you better be good at fighting.”

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In five UFC fights, Boser has definitely proved that he can hang with the best heavyweight athletes in the world. Up next for him is former light heavyweight contender Latifi.

Latifi made his UFC heavyweight debut against Derrick Lewis last February at UFC 247. It’s been over a year since that bout and Boser believes that his UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Sakai opponent has used the time to further develop into a true heavyweight.

Tanner Boser of Canada poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
Tanner Boser of Canada poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

“Ilir Latifi is a really good fighter. He’s extremely physically strong, he’s a really good wrestler, he’s got great pressure on the ground, great pressure on the cage and he’s a good puncher. Even then, he’s got low kicks and he’s well-rounded. He’s a tough guy,” Boser said. “I know that he just moved up to heavyweight and I know he hasn’t fought in a year, so he’s had one more year to adapt to carrying around a little more weight than he did before. I don’t expect that will slow him down; he’s quick and he’s explosive. He uses his explosive power to be fast. I’m expecting a very tough fight from Ilir Latifi.”

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The concept of a tough fight is one of the reasons that Boser is excited to throw down with “The Sledgehammer.” Although it was a good learning experience, Boser believes that his fight with Arlovski was rather boring and he’s hoping for something much different than that against Latifi.

“Well, hopefully it’s an exciting one because the last one was a bit of a snoozer, so hopefully me and Latifi mix it up good. Obviously, I hope things go good for me; hopefully, it’s a knockout,” Boser said. “If not, well hopefully, I’m on the right end of how the judges see that fight.”

 

Make sure you tune in to see Boser face Latifi in a main card heavyweight showcase. UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Sakai begins at 7pm ET / 4pm PT on ESPN+.