Unified MMA 37 belonged to the Shaved Bears.
All seven of the professional bouts on the card involved fighters training out of the Edmonton gym Shaved Bears MMA, and all seven emerged victorious Friday night in Enoch, Alta.
In the main event, Tanner Boser (now 16-5-1) made the most of his return to the Unified MMA cage by successfully defending his Unified MMA heavyweight title with a fourth round TKO victory over Jared Kilkenny (now 13-11).
“It felt good. I like fighting in front of my home crowd,” said Boser.
“I’m glad I got a lot of people out to come watch me. Edmonton’s always got my back and Unified’s where my fighting career grew up.”
Up until the fourth round stoppage, Boser was fighting a methodical fight, picking and mixing up his shots, and landing them from head to toe on Kilkenny.
The stoppage was due to a leg kick from Boser that collapsed Kilkenny, forcing the referee to step in.
Although Kilkenny protested the stoppage, Boser said he felt the leg he connected on was going to give out one way or another.
“It’s my job to win. The ref stopped it, so I’m happy,” said Boser.
“Jared’s tough as nails, so to his credit I’m sure he would’ve got up and threw a couple bombs at me, but I think the end of the fight was near no matter what.”
Ash Ready For UFC Debut
Berry came out hard, throwing lots of kicks and looking to hold Ash against the cage before the referee forced them to separate, allowing Ash to land the shot that setup the finish.
While Berry did have a noticeable size advantage, Ash said it was just a matter of feeling him out, staying patient, and waiting for the right moment.
“He was really physically strong when we did tie up, but I knew he was exerting a lot of energy and using all of his strength. That’s where my experience came in,” said Ash.
“I didn’t even push; I just played it out and look where I am now.”
Ash has now won eight of his last nine fights, with several of those victories coming over UFC and Bellator veterans.
With the UFC scheduled to come to Edmonton for UFC 240 on July 27, Ash believes he’s ready for his shot on the big stage.
“I would love it. It would be amazing to fight for the UFC here in Edmonton,” said Ash.
“I’m more than deserving; I’ve earned it. I’m ready, so put me on that UFC Edmonton card.”
Anderson Makes a Statement
In a 150-pound catchweight bout between fast-rising prospects, Neal Anderson (10-3) took home a statement win over Craig Shintani (now 8-3), knocking him out early in the first round. Although it was officially ruled a TKO, Anderson landed a stiff right hook that sent Shintani to the mat.
Although he was surprised how fast Shintani went down, Anderson said he knows he has power in his hands and it felt great to leave with a victory in that fashion as opposed to the long, tough war he was expecting.
“It went down about as good as it could go,” said Anderson.
“I was prepared to go to work Monday morning looking like I’d been in a car accident, but if you win in the first round, what’s there to complain about?”
The victory marks Anderson’s sixth in a row, with the most recent two coming against elite competition in Shintani and Curtis Demarce.
Given his current win streak and overall record, Anderson could very well find himself in talks with the UFC to make his debut on July 27, an opportunity he said he would welcome with open arms.
“If they call me, I’ll be there 100 per cent,” said Anderson.
“I’m not going to get my hopes up, but if they call me, of course. That’s the dream.”
Middleweight prospect KB Bhullar was also victorious in impressive fashion, stopping Cody Krahn via TKO in the first round to move to 7-0.
Christian Larsen, Roger Alves, Matt Klute, Damian McGeary, Jessie Atwell and Laine Foxton were also victorious on the evening.