BONNYVILLE – Heavyweight Tanner Boser feels ‘robbed’ of a win in his last match in the UFC octagon.
Boser lost in a split decision when two of the three judges ruled in the favour of his opponent, Ilir Latifi, on June 5 on a Fight Night card at the UFC’s Apex production facility.
The Bonnyville-native lost despite landing 45 significant shots compared to Latifi’s 10. Latifi did manage to take Boser down twice, once in the first round and then again in the third, however, Boser didn’t believe that should have given his opponent the win.
“I don’t know why a minute-and-a-half of control time, with no strikes landed or submission attempts, a round where he landed a total of one significant strike, I don’t understand that that scored more than me controlling the fight on the feet and landing way more significant strikes,” he stressed.
That was how the first round went. Boser landing some decent hits before Latifi landed a kick and took him down.
“I got up and I finished the round landing some more strikes and I completely controlled it on my feet,” Boser recalled. “I had him where I wanted him to move and I was implementing strikes that I knew I needed to, kicks to the body.”
Boser told Lakeland This Week, "round two was all me."
“I was landing a lot more strikes, started to hit him harder with my jabs, and he was having a hard time finding anything. He was having a hard time finding anything,” he continued, adding Latifi proved to be a tough opponent.
“The ref gave him a couple of warnings, but didn’t stop the fight, and he was able to get back up. I hit him with an elbow on the break, which hurt him, but I wasn’t able to finish him there. He’s very tough and hard to knock out.”
Later on, Boser found out he had broken Latifi’s arm in two separate places from his kicks in round two and Latifi’s vision hadn’t completely returned to his left eye after a punch in the second.
The final round saw Latifi take Boser down about a minute in, which solidified it for Latifi in the judges' eyes.
Going into the match, Boser knew Latifi was going to fight to get him down and keep him there because of his background in wrestling.
“Obviously, I wish I could have got up but when a wrestler stays in guard and doesn’t pass or try to posture to try and hit you hard enough to do damage, it’s really hard to get away. I think a lot of people don’t really realize that. A lot of regs would have stood it up there, for a lack of action or a lack of him attempting to do damage or anything like that.”
Although Boser believes he won round one, two judges disagreed and Latifi won in a split decision.
The six-foot-two, 247-pound fighter now has a UFC record of 3-3-0. The loss against Latifi is Boser’s second in a row by decision, which follows his 29-28 fall to Andrei Arlovski in November.
He beat Daniel Spitz in the fall of 2019 and lost by decision a little while later to Cyril Gane. He bounced back with a knock-out win against Philip Lins in June 2020 and a July bout against Raphael Pessoa saw Boser win by technical knockout.
Boser has one last fight on his current contract with UFC and said he hopes to have it soon after his loss to Latifi.
“I need to just go and win a fight,” he exclaimed. “I need to win one so that I know what my immediate future holds because if I lose, I gotta find a new job. I need to get a fight booked and just need to win.”