Photo by Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
To fight professionally is to run a gauntlet, where injury and adversaries thrust their spikes at every step. Steve “The Boss” Bossé, a former hockey enforcer set to appear at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa on Saturday, has several times been stung by his vocation. But like every fighter for whom defeat is a painful intermediary preceding triumph, he’s emerged from his trials renewed. The man who calls his hands “the tools to win my life” is fixated on realizing his UFC potential, one cataclysmic stoppage at a time.
It is rare that athletes can transition to another sport, but the popularization of mixed martial arts has proven alluring to tough guys of disparate backgrounds. The most famous example is Brock Lesnar, a former professional wrestler and NFL aspirant who found his way into the octagon and within three fights was its heavyweight champion.
Others weren’t as fortunate. Steroid pioneer Jose Canseco was beaten into submission by a colossus South Korean, ex- NFLers Michael Westbrook and Johnnie Morton had brief, forgettable forays, and boxer James Toney tried, and failed, to demonstrate he could do more than throw and parry punches.
Steve Bossé has proven the exception. The 35-year-old light heavyweight from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, just south of Montreal, is only two fights into his UFC career but 11-2 as a professional mixed martial artist. And while his prior career occurred outside of mainstream pro sports, it provided a suitable education, as Bossé’s fighting pedigree was forged in the violent crucible of Québec’s North American Hockey League (LNAH). He fought 178 times in 155 career games, and compiled a string of brutal stoppages, distinguishing himself with intimidating power and a pit bull’s gameness.
Bossé is a quasi-mythical figure in small towns across Québec, having made his reputation when ….View full article