UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Sakai Prelims – Tanner Boser vs Ilir Latifi: Prediction and Analysis

Published 06/02/2021, 12:41 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 27: (R-L) Tanner Boser punches Philipe Lins of Brazil in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai is an event filled with heavyweight fights. The prelims also feature a heavyweight fight between Tanner Boser and Ilir Latifi. It’s the third heavyweight bout on the card, along with fights between Walt Harris vs. Marcin Tybura and Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai.

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Boser is a new fighter in the UFC’s heavyweight division after he joined in 2019. His UFC debut came in October of the same year against Daniel Spitz. He won the fight via a unanimous decision to kick-start his career with the organization. However, he is currently sitting on a loss against an up-and-coming heavyweight in Ciryl Gane.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (R-L) Tanner Boser of Canada punches Raphael Pessoa of Brazil in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020, in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

His last fight, fought in November 2017, was a loss against UFC veteran Andrei Arlovski. While on the other hand, his opponent Ilir Latifi hasn’t fared any better and is on a dreadful losing streak of three fights. His last fight was a unanimous decision loss against the current number one contender at heavyweight, Derrick Lewis.

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A loss for Latifi would surely signal the end of his UFC career. However, the same cannot be said for Boser. Still, the stakes are really high in this fight.

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Tanner Boser: Fighting style and analysis

The Canadian Heavyweight is definitely a knockout artist. Nevertheless, he does have two rear-naked choke finishes in his early fights. 10 of his 19 wins have come via knockout. On the other hand, he has never been submitted in a fight, and he has been knocked out only once, against Tim Hague.

If the fight goes the distance, he has won seven and lost six. Hence, Latifi would try to take it there. However, if that does not happen, Boser has won 12 of the 13 fights that haven’t gone the distance, showing his strength and resilience.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 07: (L-R) Andrei Arlovski of Belarus kicks Tanner Boser of Canada in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 07, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Ilir Latifi: Fighting style and analysis

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The 5’10” Swedish heavyweight Latifi is four inches shorter than his opponent. However, he compensates for it with his size. He is someone who relies on his wrestling to beat opponents and stifle their attack. The question here is, does this work against Boser or not?

He is also on a losing streak and seems like he is short of ideas. Still, the fans should keep an eye on this one as it might yield a highlight finish or submission from either side.

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Prediction: Tanner Boser wins via knockout in the second round

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Aniket Awasthi

422 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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