Alberta heavyweight Tanner (The Bulldozer) Boser looks to save the UFC some money this weekend by beating Brazil's Philipe (Monstro) Lins on a Fight Night card in Las Vegas.
His rationale is simple.
Boser's entry-level contract pays him US$12,000 for the fight with a matching win bonus. Lins earned $80,000 in his UFC debut in May, missing out on a matching win bonus in losing a decision to former heavyweight champion Andre (the Pitbull) Arlovski.
"I'm going to kick his ass for $24,000 and a mandatory 2 week quarantine," Boser tweeted May 28 in announcing the fight.
Lins got a more lucrative contract because he signed with the UFC on the back of knocking out Josh (Cuddly Bear) Copeland in December to win the Professional Fighters League heavyweight title and the $1-million prize that accompanied it.
"They had to pay him a lot to get him from PFL," said Boser, who split his first two UFC outings. "He was a big prospect. They wanted him. That's cool.
"If I beat him and save them a lot of money, I mean hey, I'm going to let them know."
Dustin (The Diamond) Poirier, ranked No 3 among lightweight contenders, faces No. 5 Dan (The Hangman) Hooker in the main event Saturday at the UFC's Apex production facility.
Kyle (The Monster) Nelson of Huntsville, Ont., was also due to fight on the card, only to miss out because he could not get his visa in time. The UFC has been assembling shows on short notice as it tries to get its schedule back on track during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boser (17-6-1) is coming off a December loss in Busan, South Korea, to France's Ciryl (Bon Gamin) Gane, a former heavyweight champion in the Montreal-based TKO promotion.
Boser, a former heavyweight title-holder in Alberta's Unified MMA promotion, won a decision over Daniel (Daddy Long Legs) Spitz in October.
Fans will see a slimmed-down Boser on Saturday.
The 28-year-old from Bonnyville, Alta., who now calls Edmonton home, weighed in at 235 pounds Friday, down from 248 pounds last time out. Lins, who stands six foot one, weighed in at 235.
The six-foot-two Boser said while the drop in weight wasn't intentional, it has helped him.
"I was doing a lot of strength and conditioning when there was not much else to do," he explained. "And my weight just kind of naturally went down.
"I'm also the strongest I've ever been so it's not like I got weaker or anything like that. I'm all-around better. It's just I've lost some body fat ... I feel the best I ever have."
He expects a stiff challenge from the 34-year-old Lins (14-4-0).
"He does have fast hands and power," said Boser. "He's got good technique in the striking department, as well as the jiu-jitsu department ... He attacks in flurries of good punches."
Boser says fighting in an empty venue won't faze him.
"Huge crowd, small crowd, no crowd. That stuff doesn't really get to me. I don't expect it to bother me," he said. "You'll have to think about things sightly differently. You don't want your corner to be yelling stuff out to you. The other guy's going to for sure hear it and his corner's going to hear it and be adjusting things."
Boser, who sports one of the promotion's top mullets, was able to resume training at his gym in advance of the bout, albeit with some limitations.
Boser is dedicating the fight to former jiu-jitsu coach Jake Sansom, who was killed in March in northern Alberta. Two men face second-degree murder charges in the death of Sansom and his uncle Maurice Cardinal.
"It's a really sad story," said Boser.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press