Tanner Boser – Heavyweight Prospect or Division Gatekeeper? 

There’s a big hitting heavyweight from Canada that is looking to follow in the footsteps of GSP and Rory MacDonald, but can he live up to the legacies of his countrymen?

Tanner Boser made his UFC debut back in 2019, in a unanimous decision victory against Daniel Spitz. 

Based on the performance, many Canadians were hoping that he could take forward the legacy left behind by two of the greatest welterweight fighters to compete in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. 

Known for his aggressive style, and for being on the smaller side for a heavyweight, Boser made his Pro MMA debut in 2012. What surprised most was the fact that he had no real background in the sport besides some karate training. 

Boser showed the ability to learn quickly right from the beginning, as in his sophomore bout, the Bonyville local managed to implement jiu jitsu practices that he had recently learned to win via submission. 

Based on these aspects, many Canadian UFC fans felt that Boser was a top prospect when he entered the UFC, and his debut performance didn’t disappoint, he won in emphatic fashion with a dominant performance. 

The hype was sustained after his second bout as he slept Brazilian veteran Philipe Lins, and earned his first Fight of the Night Performance. Talk was beginning to stir that Boser had the steel to go very far in the division. He went on to win his next bout, making it three from three in the UFC. 

Boser’s next test came in the form of future UFC Interim Champion Cyrile Gane, in what felt a lot like the fight for next in line in the UFC heavyweight conversation. Boser lost the bout, much to Canadian betting sites expectations, who had pegged the Alberta local as the underdog in the encounter. 

Boser would go on to face defeat another two times to veterans Andrei Arlovski and Ilir Latifi, before earning his next victory in the form of a first round knockout against light heavyweight challenger Ovince St. Preux. 

While Boser had a strong start in the UFC, his true tests have resulted in defeats, which begs the question as to whether or not he’ll fill the role of the heavyweight gatekeeper. 

Gatekeepers aren’t uncommon in the UFC, with fighters like Anthony Smith at light heavyweight, Derek Brunson at middleweight, and Rafael Dos Anjos at welterweight all filling these kinds of roles. 

The gatekeeper is in place as a test to ensure that any up and coming hype trains are able to pass somewhat of a test to prove that they are capable of taking their next step in becoming title challengers. 

While there is still plenty of time for Boser to prove his worth as a title contender, for now, his shortcomings against other contenders, and veterans currently have him pegged as a frontrunner for the gatekeeping role. 

That being said, Jorge Masvidal once served somewhat as a gatekeeper in the welterweight division, but in 2019 was catapulted into the welterweight title conversation after beating Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz within the space of a year. 

MMA is one of the most unpredictable sports on the globe, making it exceptionally interesting to follow the fate of this heavy hitting Canuck.