Bonnyville-bred fighter will make his UFC debut in July

Tanner Boser, born in Bonnyville, said he was surprised to hear from his manager that the UFC signed him. Image credit: tapology.com.

Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser is now a UFC fighter.

The Bonnyville born fighter and two-time Unified heavyweight champ will fight Brazilian Giacomo Lemos in UFC 240 July 27th at Roger’s Place in Edmonton.

The news arrived not two weeks ago, that Boser will fight in the highest division of mixed martial arts in the world.

“When my manager called and first he messaged me the name of a fighter and said, ‘how do you feel about this opponent?’ I assumed it was for an M1 card in August that we were targeted for,” said Boser.

“I said like, yeah, sure, no problem. Let’s f*** this guy up. He’s like, all right, July 27. UFC. I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ I wasn’t expecting that. That was pretty crazy,” said Boser.

Boser has been the Unified heavyweight champion for almost two and a half years. He has a 16-5-1 record since his first fight in 2012 when he was still training out of Bonnyville.

He said he wasn’t ready to fight professionally, but “Homer Simpson’d” his way to win. Not long after, he moved to Edmonton to get serious about the sport.

“I just had a ragtag group of buddies and we trained in Bonnyville, so I won my second pro fight I won well, out of Bonnyville, but then I figured, I got to stop pushing my luck. I gotta move to the city and train at a real gym. So I moved to Edmonton in 2013,” said Boser.

A black-belt in karate, earned at the Bonnyville Karate dojo, Boser now trains at Shaved Bears in Sherwood Park.

He started sparring in high school and became a fan of UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida when the Japanese star took over the division with his karate-based fighting style.

“A reigning theory was karate didn’t work very well in MMA. But Machida came and disproved it and knocked out a lot of really good guys like Rashad Evans and Randy Couture. He was kind of my idol and I thought I can do that. So I started trying to do it.”

Boser’s fighting style incorporates a lot of combinations and low kicks which stiffle fellow heavyweights. He’s had two stoppages thanks to the low kick.

“I’m a movement heavy, cardio based heavyweight. I’m kind of an anomaly that way. I’m not a big bruiser with that one-shot knockout power in my hands necessarily. But I like to strike. I prefer striking to grappling.”

As a UFC fighter, he can’t fight in any other promotion. He has a four-fight contract, but the UFC can choose to cut him after a loss.

Boser is confident ahead of his matchup against Giacomo Lemos, who has stoppages in all of his fights.

“I don’t think that he’s fought anybody my calibre before and I’ve been fighting guys the calibre of him for years,” said Boser.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a very hard fight and neither one of us is going to walk out of there unscathed. But he’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

Boser thanks his sponsors Paul Pedal Services, Platinum Solutions, MealKraft, Bonnyville Water Conditioning, Thinkwerx, and Reebok.

“I never had these crazy aspirations where I want to be a champion or I want to be a top 10 in the world or something like that. It’s kind of just like, I just want to be good. I like what I do, and I just want to be good. So I’m just gonna keep doing it.”