Tanner Boser and Ovince Saint Preux meet at UFC Apex on Saturday and the heavyweights are expected to throw down.
Saint Preux is the more senior fighter with 40 fights under his belt, but he’s the online sportsbook underdog against a hungry Boser.
Tanner Boser is a 29-year-old who has suffered consecutive losses, but he has a significant weight advantage at his disposal. His reach is much shorter, so we would see a clash in styles for the co-main event.
The Volkov vs Gane card is packed with power punchers and this fight should live up to expectations.
Boser Not Happy with Loss
It’s fair to say Tanner Boser was not happy about his controversial split decision loss to Ilir Latifi.
He is now 3-3 since arriving in the UFC after making a 3-1 start, and he initially wanted to quit the organization and opt out of this field. However, he has since come around and it could be his last chance to impress.
The Canadian is happy to be fighting only a few weeks after his loss. He’s keen to get back in the Octagon and right the wrongs of his recent losses.
“I’m ready to fight,” Boser told the Edmonton Sun. “I have to salvage my summer. I’m in purgatory right now and it’s the worst feeling. I’m sitting here on the fence knowing that, if I lose another fight, I could very well be out of UFC.
“Or I could win and right this whole ship. Suddenly everyone will be saying “he didn’t even really lose his previous two fights.” I know how it works. I have to go in there and fix things.”
Tanner Boser looking to “right the ship” in short-notice UFC fight https://t.co/mxYR19oqXL
— Edmonton Journal (@edmontonjournal) June 17, 2021
Boser knows that if he loses against Saint Preux, it could be his last chance with the organization.
“I know that I’m doing them a favor, but I don’t expect that to necessarily save my ass if this goes south,” said Boser. “A loss is a loss is a loss. But I’m not thinking about that. It’s a tough fight, but I’m going to go in there and I’m going to be swinging.”
UFC betting markets have “The Bulldozer” at -170 to win. Despite having a significant reach disadvantage, he could use his size to grapple Saint Preux and work him on the inside.
We expect plenty of body shots to land before going to the head, which is a good strategy to gas the 38-year-old fighter.
It’s Hard to Trust Saint Preux
Ovince Saint Preux must be respected for scoring 25 MMA wins, but bettors have had a hard time trusting him recently.
The Floridian fought three times in 2020 and went 1-2. He lost a three-round decision to Ben Rothwell before knocking out 10-2-0 fighter Alonzo Menifield.
Just when you think he has rediscovered his best form, he gets knocked out in the second round by Jamahal Hill. He allowed Hill to throw 128 strikes compared to his 73, so his work rate wasn’t there.
Facing younger fighters has been an issue and Tanner Boser is no slouch. OSP is the lighter fighter, and although he has the reach advantage, having a heavy body pressing against you makes life tough.
We expect Boser to make it a dirty fight, whereas Saint Preux will likely try to keep his distance and pick his punches.
Time to eat…… 🌮🍔🥩 pic.twitter.com/BwlfGwaWND
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) June 16, 2021
Bettors get value odds at +140 for a high-quality fighter, but we’re not sure which version of Saint Preux will show up. He is hard to follow at the best of times and we’re not sure the rise back to heavyweight will help.
It could give him a speed advantage over the heavier fighter, but he gives up size and we have seen fighters struggle with this in the past. Israel Adesanya didn’t cope with his rise in weight class, and it could be the same case for OSP.
We are prepared to give him a pass for his loss to Hill. He had contracted Covid just four months prior, and it’s not easy to come back from. His fight camp was interrupted, so having six months to prepare for this fight will help.
Boser vs Saint Preux Pick
Size matters in the UFC and that’s Tanner Boser’s greatest strength. He is a heavy fighter, and although he’s not overly tall, having a 48 pound weight advantage is huge.
He was unlucky in his last two fights, but leaving it in the hands of the judges is always risky. We expect Boser to go for a knockout victory, so he can’t complain about being robbed.
We respect the ability of Saint Preux, who is capable of causing an upset. However, he’s an ageing fighter who could struggle to keep up.