Tanner Boser’s victory over Ovince St. Preux in the UFC Fight Night 190 co-main event was not without controversy.
Right before the finishing sequence in the heavyweight bout, Boser appeared to grab the fence to help him return to his feet after being taken down by “OSP” at the beginning of the second round. Once Boser was upright, he stuffed a St. Preux takedown, hurt his foe with a knee and dropped him with a right hand, ending the contest 2:31 into Round 2. At Saturday’s post-fight press conference, Boser denied grabbing the fence.
“I heard his corner yelling about it, but I don’t remember doing it – I don’t think there was [a fence grab]” Boser said . “Their job is to be in the best interest of their fighter. If they believe that I grabbed the fence, they have every right to be angry. I don’t believe I grabbed the fence.
“I didn’t see on the replay that I grabbed the fence, and I’m confident I didn’t grab the fence. But if they believe that’s what happened, they have the right to be upset because that’s their guy. It’s up to the coaches to be on their guy’s side.”
Replays seemed to support Boser’s claim, though UFC commentator Daniel Cormier was quite vocal about what he believed to be a transgression during the broadcast. The Canadian heavyweight was unfazed by the commentary team’s view of the ending of the fight.
“My win bonus is gonna be in my account,” Boser said. “It doesn’t change anything. I won that fight.”
The saga might not be completely over, however. Ovince St. Preux confirmed to MMAFighting.com that he would be appealing the result of the bout with the Nevada Athletic Commission.
“I felt the ref put his hand on my back, which is only done to pause the action or call a finish,” Saint Preux said in a statement. “I slightly paused and then the tide turned.
“We will be protesting and requesting a no-contest.”
There’s no disputing that Boser was the more active competitor for as long as the fight lasted. He held a 25-to-8 edge in significant strikes landed during the opening stanza, and he believes his pace was taking its toll on “OSP” prior to the finish.
“My pressure was wearing on him,” Boser said. “He got that one takedown, that was good, but I got up. He had used a lot of energy to take me down and when I got up, the guy is wilt. It’s how it works. You use a lot of energy and if you can’t capitalize on that, now it’s up to me to capitalize and get back to my feet and be the quicker guy.
“The pressure kept on him, he shot a more desperate takedown next time around. I shrugged it off, and then I knew he would do it again, because he didn’t want to be against the cage with me throwing strikes. When his head went down for the takedown, I landed the big knee and that led to the finish.”