Tanner Boser Was Offered Alexander Gustafsson, Drew Teammate Ilir Latifi

Tanner Boser
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 27: Tanner Boser prepares to fight Philipe Lins in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Tanner Boser was offered a bout against Alexander Gustafsson, but that fight didn’t play out. He will now take on his teammate from Allstars Training Center, Ilir Latifi, at UFC Fight Night 189.

Tanner Boser Was Offered Alexander Gustafsson

“I didn’t have a fight lined up, I was offered Alexander Gustafsson,” Tanner Boser told James Lynch for MMASucka.com. “But the fight would have been late May, so it wouldn’t really have been much different of a date. I’ve just been waiting. I was kind of no rush, I had stuff to work on and now I have a fight, gotta go get it done.”

In his last outing, Tanner Boser lost a decision to former UFC heavyweight champion Andre Arlovski. It was a fight that Boser came into as an odds-on favorite. However, he felt that he didn’t do enough in that fight and during the layoff, he has worked on pushing the pace a little more.

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“I just needed to do more. I need to have more urgency. The fight was close, but I didn’t do enough to make it definitively mine. I can’t sit back and believe I’m winning, I gotta really go for it and that loss was the second-worst feeling loss of my career because I felt that I knew I could have done more. I wasn’t even overly tired when it was done, so I would rather fight my ass off and get knocked out or something than lose a fight that I feel I might have been one punch away from winning.”

With the COVID-19 global pandemic still running rampant, it has been tough for fighters to see the same gym time as they did pre-pandemic. This is no different for Boser in his home province of Alberta.

It’s unfortunate, to say the least, because the 29-year-old can not plan his training camp, as the rules are changing day to day.

“Right now the gyms are closed again. Sometimes one on ones are allowed, and now and then professionals are allowed in groups, and then you’re not allowed to train at all. The rules change basically every single day, it’s a complete and utter f*cking disaster. I follow the daily rules of whatever we’re allowed to do that day to the best of my ability, and that’s how I train.”

Latifi fought early in his career at heavyweight, then spent the next 10 years at light heavyweight. After losing two fights in a row, the Swede made the return to heavyweight but lost a decision to Derrick Lewis in early 2020 at UFC 247.

Boser is well aware of Latifi’s game and knows that he can’t make the mistakes he did in his fight against Arlovski.

“He’s really short, like 5’10”, I’ve got the range on him, a little bit,” Tanner Boser stated. “His reach is like half an inch shorter than mine, we basically have the same reach. But I’ll be taller and I’ll be able to use my reach a little better than him. He does punch really well, there’s a misconception there. He punches well, he explodes fast, he counter flurries really well off certain things, but he’s a really good wrestler. He takes guys down and he holds them there. He doesn’t always do tons of damage when you’re down there, but he’ll hold you there. I have to create scrambles and get up because I don’t want to lay there and let the clock tick away to a loss.

“He’s gonna take me down and I’m just gonna get up and get up. We’re both gonna be tired, but I’m gonna push through it because I’ve got better cardio. And I’ll knock him out in round 3.”

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