Ex-Hockey Enforcer Steve Bosse: “Now I’m an MMA Fighter and a UFC Fighter Soon”
By Kelsey Mowatt
When the now defunct TKO promotion announced in 2007 that professional hockey player Steve Bosse was set to begin his MMA career with the company, it’s safe to say that more than a few eyebrows were raised throughout the Canadian MMA community. At the time, Bosse was one of the North American Hockey League’s most active fighters and well known enforcers, and some critics questioned whether or not TKO’s move was purely a publicity stunt. Well, having put together a MMA record of 9-1 over the last four years, which includes victories over several established vets, there is little doubt now that Bosse has become a legitimate, MMA prospect.
“I understand why the other fighters criticized me when I arrived in the sport,” said Bosse, who played in the LNAH from 2005 through 2009. “I was nobody in MMA; I was a hockey player that was it. But I’ve done the job. I’ve worked really hard and I’ve proved that I can be a MMA fighter…Now I’m a MMA fighter and a UFC fighter soon I think.”
Now, Bosse is the first to admit of course, that due to his time as pro hockey player and reputation as a ‘fighter’, his transition into MMA has not gone unnoticed in a country where hockey is like a religion.
“For sure,” Bosse told FCF, when asked if he’s received more attention because of his time in the LNAH. “People in Quebec love hockey and a lot of people watch the North American Hockey League, so I have a lot of fans, a lot of sponsors here in Quebec.”
In addition to selling tickets and receiving media coverage, Bosse also believes that his time as an on-ice-pugilist helped prepare him for the rigours of a MMA career.
“For sure it helped me. Fighting on the ice is very tough,” said Bosse. “In the North American Hockey League you fight every game, two times a game and I had more than 220 fights in five years, real fights. It’s not easy; it helped me build focus.”
Early on into his MMA career Bosse received praise for his abilities as a striker, and more recently the 30 year-old fighter has worked hard to round out the rest of his game, which includes earning a purple belt in BJJ.
“Now I’m a MMA fighter; I’m good on the ground and my wrestling is good, but I’m a striking fighter,” Bosse noted. “I worked very hard to be where I am now; I had the talent, but I’ve had to work very hard.”
A lot of Bosse’s “hard work” has taken place at Montreal’s renowned Tri Star Gym, home of UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre.
“A lot of guys come here to train with Georges, high level fighters, so I get to train with these guys,” said Bosse. “Now’s it’s two years that I’ve been at Tri Star and it’s been the best years of my career so far.”
Most recently, Bosse capped off another banner year, as the light-heavyweight knocked out former UFC competitor Houston Alexander in the second round.
“It was my biggest win for sure,” said Bosse, who KO’d Alexander at Instinct MMA’s inaugural event in October. “The biggest knockout too.”
“I showed all my skills in this fight,” Bossed added. I broke my right hand in the first round and I finished off the fight with a big elbow in the second…I controlled the boxing game in the first round, and in the second when my hand was broken, I took him down two times and ground-and-pounded him. I controlled the fight in the first and second round.”
Due to the fact that Bosse has now scored wins over Alexander and fellow UFC vets Marvin Eastman and Wes Sims, it will be interesting to see if another victory might prompt a call from Zuffa sometime in 2012.
“I feel ready, but I’m just focused on winning my next fight,” Bosse said while discussing the UFC. “It’s my dream to go to the UFC, and I feel ready, but I don’t know when.”
Bosse may also work on cutting down to middleweight over the coming months, as the fighter concedes that he is an undersized light-heavyweight.
“The perfect weight for me would be 195 but there is no division class there,” said Bosse, who says his next fight will take place with Instinct MMA unless the UFC calls, “I think in the future I’ll go down to middleweight, but right now I’m a light-heavyweight. Maybe my next fight will be a catch-weight at 195.”