Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class.
Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters able to cuts more than 30 pounds. Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower.
Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight and often there is always a risk of a fighter losing a percentage of their fight purse.
In this series, we will shine a light on select fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming matchups.
In short, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.
Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser (20-9-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC)
Light Heavyweight (205lbs.): 1-0 (MMA), Making UFC Debut
Catchweight (215lbs.): 1-0 (MMA)
Heavyweight (265lbs.): 4-4 (UFC)
31-year-old Tanner Boser will be moving down to the light heavyweight division for the first time in his UFC career when he takes on Ion Cutelaba at UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Allen.
Boser has not fought at 205lbs. since his 5th pro fight back in 2014 for Unified MMA, a Canadian-based promotion. Tanner would capture Unified MMA’s Vacant Heavyweight Championship in his next fight just a few months later effectively ending his experiment at 205lbs. after just one fight.
Boser, a 6-fight veteran of the Russian based ACB promotion, would capture Unified MMA’s Heavyweight title once again before being picked up by the UFC in mid 2019.
Standing at 6’2″ tall with a 75.5″ reach Boser has had some tough stylistic matchups within his 8-fight stint in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Boser fought future UFC heavyweight champion, Ciryl Gane in just his second fight with the UFC losing a unanimous decision but turned a good showing against top level talent.
Boser’s best fight attributes while he was in the UFC’s heavyweight division have been his speed and cardio.
Boser would frequently receive criticism from fans and media alike for being a ‘smaller’ heavyweight that should potentially move to 205lbs. Boser responded to said criticism after a journalist directly asked him about moving to 205lbs. following his first round KO performance over Philipe Lins in June of 2020 at UFC Vegas 4. Boser, obviously a bit irritated responded by saying,
“Yeah, great! Yeah, everybody thinks that [I should lose weight]! ‘Why don’t you just lose thirty pounds?!’. No. Why? I just won! I should go to Light Heavyweight because I just kicked a**?! That doesn’t make any sense.”
Obviously, Tanner’s fast 3-1 start in the UFC would at least partially silence those rumblings as well as how often he was able to compete, thanks to not having to worry about a weight cut in the first place.
But after winning just 1 fight of his last four (featuring two split decision losses), Boser is looking to mix it up with a move to the light heavyweight division. Boser’s first fight in the UFC he weighed in at 247.5lbs. and for his last fight against Rodrigo Nascimento he weighed in at 229lbs.
Boser has already had two of his previous opponents (Ovince St. Preux and Philipe Lins) move down to light heavyweight.
“The weight cut’s going to be no problem, and I’m feeling really good,”
“My main diet was deer meat, and its worked perfectly. I’m my own nutritionist, so yeah, no problemo man.”
Boser also shut down the media when asked if the critics (fans and media) had anything to do with his move down to 205lbs. saying,
“After the last fight, just figured I was in striking distance of it, just decided to give it a go. I don’t recall— It was a unique idea, can’t recall anybody telling me to go to light heavyweight, ever,”
Tanner Boser’s fight is sure to be a can’t miss event as the always violent Ion Cutelaba, with his kill or be killed style, looks to take on the Canadian and test his chin and cardio in a lighter weight class at UFC Kansas City on Saturday.
When he hit the scales Friday morning, Boser came in under the light heavyweight limit at 203lbs.