Tai Tuivasa
Bam Bam
Booked for UFC 238
HeavyweightUFC
March 22, 2019
Tuivasa will face Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 238 on June 9, Nick Walshaw of The Daily Telegraph reports.
ANALYSIS
Tuivasa is coming off his first professional loss at UFC Fight Night 142 when Junior dos Santos won by TKO. Ivanov's most recent loss was also to dos Santos, which occurred at UFC Fight Night 133 and was decided by unanimous decision.
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Suffers first career loss in main event spot
HeavyweightUFC
December 1, 2018
Tuivasa lost to Junior Dos Santos via TKO (punches) at 2:30 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Adelaide, Australia.
ANALYSIS
Tuivasa showed a ton of promise in his first main event spotlight, but the end result proved that he still has much to learn. Tai did plenty of damage to JDS in the early going, most notably a kick to the outside of Dos Santos' knee late in the frame. Yet after eating a big punch from his opponent in Round 2, Tuivasa foolishly engaged JDS further instead of focusing on defense and he paid for it with his first career loss. Tuivasa is 25 years old, legitimately talented, and very marketable. Better days are ahead for the young Aussie.
Locks in fight vs. Junior dos Santos
HeavyweightUFC
September 6, 2018
Tuivasa will fight Junior dos Santos at UFC Adelaide on Dec. 2.
ANALYSIS
Tuivasa has come out swinging since joining the UFC, currently sitting with an undefeated 3-0 record that includes knockout wins over Rashad Coulter and Cyril Asker. After receiving a six-fight extension following his most recent victory over Andrei Arlovski in June, rumors swirled that Tuivasa was set to see an uptick in competition. That will certainly be the case in December with a fight now scheduled against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Dos Santos. Tuivasa will enter the fight at a two-inch height and reach disadvantage, but he should have all the motivation in the world considering a victory versus Dos Santos would represent a major opportunity to take the next step towards a future title fight.
Inks long-term UFC deal
HeavyweightUFC
August 9, 2018
Tuivasa has signed a six-fight contract extension with the UFC, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Tuivasa is undefeated as a professional and 3-0 with the UFC, and clearly the promotion sees something they like in the 25-year-old Australian. According to the report, the UFC is looking to give "Bam Bam" a step up in competition in the near future, as they intend to use him a headliner in a November card. An opponent has yet to be finalized, but names that are in the conversation include Junior dos Santos and Marcin Tybura -- two heavyweights that could be major stepping stones for Tuivasa's title aspirations.
Remains undefeated after decisioning Andrei Arlovski at UFC 225
HeavyweightUFC
June 9, 2018
Tuivasa defeated Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 225 on Saturday in Chicago.
ANALYSIS
Tuivasa was finally forced to see a second (and third) round for the first time in his professional career and the results weren't all that impressive. Sure, he got the victory he was seeking, but a young, up-and-coming prospect like Tuivasa should have been able to finish a washed up veteran like Arlovski. Tai's power is certainly legit, but the rest of his game remains a work in progress and this performance raises questions about his cardio as he faded late in the fight. Tuivasa remains one of the better prospects in a division that doesn't have many of them, but this wasn't the standout performance that many expected.
Inks four-fight extension
HeavyweightUFC
March 21, 2018
Tuivasa's upcoming heavyweight matchup against Andrei Arlovski will be the first of a new, four-fight deal with the UFC, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Tuivasa's intrigue as a 25-year-old Australian prospect -- mixed with a two-fight winning streak to begin his UFC tenure -- was enough to get him some security with the promotion. He's appeared professionally in only seven fights, but each one of them he's won by KO/TKO in the very first round. That momentum has earned him the No. 13 ranking in a top-heavy, heavyweight division, and he should enter as the betting favorite against the No. 9-ranked Arlovski.