Glow up! Meme’d teenager becomes legitimate UFC heavyweight

Have you seen this meme before? It floated around the web a few years back, making fun of a pretty old photo of three pasty white teens with the caption “Say they have a black belt in Muay Thai … Under the Gracies.”

Would you have believed that any of these three young dudes would end up as an actual talented UFC fighter? Because that’s exactly what happened. In a hilarious twist of events, the guy on the left would actually start fighting professionally, win regional MMA titles, and then establish himself as a legitimate UFC heavyweight.

Tanner Boser as a meme’d kid, vs Tanner Boser as a UFC fighter.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

That’s Tanner Boser, who is now 30, and revealed how he went from meme’d teen to seven-fight UFC veteran.

“This meme has been floating around MMA pages for years. I’m the guy on the left,” Boser wrote. “We were like 19 years old in line at a UFC fan expo to get some UFC gloves signed by Wanderlei and Thiago Alves. The photographer was going down the line and taking pictures and told us to put on the gloves and ‘look tough.’

“Someone then found this picture a few years later in the UFC Fan Expo picture archives or some shit and made it into a meme. I get why, but I wonder where the creator of this meme is.”

The guy in the middle is actually Tanner’s brother, Landon, who won a professional KOTC bout in 2017.

Boser is coming off a KO win over former UFC title challenger Ovince Saint Preux last June that improved his MMA record to 20-8-1.