Prospect Spotlight: 24-year old Canadian Heavyweight Tanner Boser

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Name: Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser Age: 24 Height: 6’2 Weight Class: Heavyweight Record: 7-1 Fighting Out Of: Bonnyville, Alberta (Hayabusa Training Centre) Next Fight: Victor Valimaki (Unified MMA 24 – Sept. 25th) Tanner Boser may be one of the best kept secrets North of the Border. Boasting a 7-1 record, the Alberta competed in karate growing up and made a seamless transition to mma. “I started doing karate when I was 11 and I got my blackbelt when I was 18 or 19” Boser told MMAOddsBreaker. “I just wanted something more; it was just kind of a natural transition [competing in MMA]. I stared watching UFC when I was in highschool and fell in love with the sport and I thought I could do it. When Lyoto Machida knocked out Silva after that fight, I was like karate can work. Turns out you need more then that but at the time, that’s what I was running with.” Boser made his professional MMA debut in 2012 for Unified MMA, a promotion who he’s competed for in five of his eight career bouts. Despite many Canadian fighters having difficulty getting fights, Boser admits he isn’t one of them. “It hasn’t actually been too bad [getting fights]; heavyweight is definitely a thinner division. But somehow [Unified MMA President] Sunny Sareen is usually able to find me somebody to fight.  He’d probably let me fight every card if I wanted too. It’s good, it keeps me active. The other promotions around here are good as well, actually it seems like Edmonton is kind of the mecca for MMA in Canada.  They treat me good at Unified and I’m happy fighting for them now.” The Hayabusa Training Centre product won his first six professional bouts, with five of those coming by way of stoppage. This past March Boser suffered the first loss of his career to UFC veteran Tim Hague at Unified MMA 22, where he was knocked out just six seconds into the first round. “Honestly I felt great, I got in the ring. I didn’t have any sort of adrenaline dump or anything. People are saying [I let my emotions get to me] honestly had nothing to do with that, I executed my gameplan poorly. I figured I should rush him and close the distance because his only chance is a punchers chance but he got me with that chance coming in. So I f**cked up.” Boser bounced back from that loss earning a first round knockout over Jared Henderson at KOTC: Mach 3 this past June. On September 25th he faces another UFC veteran in Victor Valimaki, who moves up from the light heavyweight division where he’s fought for the majority of his career. Despite Valimaki fighting in a new division and having a layoff, Boser is expecting a competitive match up. “When you’ve had close to 30 fights, I don’t really buy into ring rust at all. Nevermind having that much UFC experience. Fighting in an banquet hall after fighting in the UFC shouldn’t be a huge system shock. I definitely outweigh him and I feel like I’m going to be quite a bit stronger. I also have reach on him, I know he’s a good boxer but that doesn’t faze me. I think I should have the advantage against him pretty much anywhere. Thing about this city is everybody talks, you know people on each team and stuff. If he trains or not, it doesn’t matter to me because first of all he doesn’t have to make weight at heavyweight, he can just show up 240 pounds with a beer gut and hitting the biceps curls every day, I don’t give a s**t. He’s dangerous no matter what, because of his experience. He’s had 27 or 28 fights or something, I have 8. He’s going to come in there, training three times a day or not training at all he’s going to be the same guy.  Going to be a tough fight.” While Valimaki has only won twice in his last six bouts, Boser isn’t expecting a deflated opponent, but rather a hungry competitor looking revive his MMA career. “He should be motivated because the last one didn’t go his way at all.  He got slapped around pretty hard. That guy he fought [Jeremy Oshelm at MFC 41] is pretty good and he’s super tall and caught him with some knees. I think Victor is going to come in hungry and I think he thinks that I’m an easy fight. That’s a mistake.” Another issue with Valimaki is injuries, having pulled out of a number of schedule bouts in recent fights. Boser isn’t concerned about his opponent because he knows no matter what, he’ll be competing on September 25th. “Nope I don’t care, I show up and I fight. If he doesn’t show up and wants bitch out, I’ll find somebody who will show up, they’ll fly somebody in, and I’ll fight somebody. I’m fighting that day I don’t care.  He’s not going to have to cut weight, I think he’s dropped out of a lot of fights because of weight cutting issues, kidneys shutting down and stuff like that. I think he’s going to show up because he doesn’t have to do any of that. I don’t have any particular animosity towards Victor, he trains at Complete which is kind of our rival gym in the city. I don’t have anything against him, animosity or not we’re both going to try and kill each other. It doesn’t matter.” While he isn’t looking past his opponent, there are a number of interesting implications should Boser improve his record to 8-1. First is a showdown with fellow Canadian and former WSOF heavyweight champion Smealinho Rama. “I would take that fight any time. He’s a super tough fight; he’s great striker and has great submissions too. When he submitted Ryan Fortin that was actually really slick, I watched that fight on Fight Network or something before I even had my first pro fight. Rama he’s wicked, one of the top 30-40 heavyweight fighters in the world, UFC included. It’s definitely a step up in competition you know, Tim Hague beat me and Rama beat up him. I’d take that fight anytime, eventually it will happen for sure. Whether it’s later this year, five years, our paths are going to cross. There are only so many heavyweights in this country.” Also on his radar is a rematch with Hague, which he believes could happen at some point especially if he wins at Unified MMA 24. “My contract says I can only fight for Unified in Edmonton, I can fight anywhere else not in Edmonton. I think if I beat Victor I can get a rematch with Tim, which is what I really want. He’s doing some bare knuckle fight in the UK or something. He’s bragging that he’s the only professional athlete to transition to bare knuckling fighting which is probably because it’s a stupid career move not like he’s paving any new frontier’s.  It’s just a poor life choice, but kudos to you Timmy.” It’s also possible the UFC would take a look at the young Canadian if he can emerge victorious on September 25th. While Boser admits his focus is on Victor Valimaki, it’s something he’s thought about. “I’m just going to keep fighting. If they ever want me there, of course I want to be there. I’m down at any time. I think they’re looking at the guys I beat and I’m going to have to beat a couple of UFC vets to get there. Everybody has that old cliché, just take it one fight at a time.  If you’re not considering the different paths that will happen win, lose or draw with that fight you’re an idiot. If I were to beat Valimaki impressively, that would be 8-1 and it’s two wins since I lost that fight. They always want local fighters, the heavyweight division is shallow so hopefully that would be awesome.” You can check out Tanner on Facebook and he would like to thank Genmec ACL, Bonnyville Water Conditioning You can listen to the full audio version of this interview on an Extra edition of The Parting Shot Podcast below (32 mins in) 

Written by James Lynch

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