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After losing a fight to Ilir Latifi on June 5, Boser (20-8-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) made the quick turnaround to fight Saint Preux (25-16 MMA, 13-11 UFC), who moved up to heavyweight when his original opponent was forced to withdraw. Boser said pre-fight he had no opportunity to train between travel and quarantine time, but it didn’t show much in his performance.
Boser picked Saint Preux apart with punches and a nice range of kick attacks, but the finish came in the second round when, after being planted on his back, he appeared to use the fence to stand up before connecting clean on Saint Preux for the knockout at the 2:31 mark.
The heavyweight bout was the UFC Fight Night 190 co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It streamed on ESPN+.
Boser came out peppering the lead leg of Saint Preux with some hard kicks. Boser’s hand speed also proved problematic, but Saint Preux managed to avoid taking serious damage in the opening minutes as he stayed on the outside. Saint Preux’s output was close to non-existent, and he was a fairy easy target for Boser to kick and punch through the opening five minutes.
Saint Preux’s corner pleaded with him after the first round to turn up the output and be more aggressive, but he didn’t oblige early on. Boser punished the body with more hard kicks, then Saint Preux finally had a momentum of success when he secured a key takedown. He tried to do some work from on top, but Boser scooted toward the fence, putting his knuckle in the cage to ultimately provide the leverage to get back to his feet.
Once he was up, Boser landed a clean shot on Saint Preux that hurt him badly and sent him crashing face-first to the canvas. Boser landed a few more shots, and referee Jason Herzog waved it off.
“I had to right the ship,” Boser told Daniel Cormier after his win. “I lost a very close decision three weeks ago. … I had to save the summer.”
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 25 results include:
Tanner Boser def. Ovince Saint Preux via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:31
Timur Valiev def. Raoni Barcelos via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Andre Fili vs. Daniel Pineda declared no contest (accidental eye poke on Pineda) – Round 2, 0:46
Tim Means def. Nicolas Dalby via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Renato Moicano def. Jai Herbert via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:34
Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Danilo Marques via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:20
Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Michel Prazeres via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:10
Jeremiah Wells def. Warlley Alves via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 0:30
Marcin Prachnio def. Ike Villanueva via TKO (body kick) – Round 2, 0:56
Julia Avila def. Julija Stoliarenko via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:19
Charles Rosa def. Justin Jaynes via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Damir Hadzovic def. Yancy Medeiros via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)