- Who Is Tai Tuivasa? Taking A Look At One Of The UFC’s Premier Heavyweights Before UFC Paris
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Who Is Tai Tuivasa? Taking A Look At One Of The UFC’s Premier Heavyweights Before UFC Paris
If you just started following the UFC, you probably know Tai Tuivasa as the brawling Heavyweight that’ll knockout whoever you put in front of him. However, if you've been watching the UFC for a couple of years now, you know that wasn’t always the case.
Flashback to October of 2019, which is when Tuivasa faced defeat at the hands of Sergey Spivak at UFC 243. This was Tuivasa’s third loss of his career, and it was also his third loss in a ROW. Tai got off to a hot start in the UFC, winning his first three fights in the organization (his first two by KO/TKO, and the third being a decision win over former champ Andrei Arlovski).
However, the Tuivasa shooting star seemed to have flared out come the result at UFC 243, because the submission loss to Spivak marked the triple-crown for Tuivasa:
-A TKO Loss (To JDS)
-A Unanimous Decision Loss (To Blagoy Ivanov)
-A Submission Loss (To Spivak)
All three ways to lose, three fights in a row. That’s tough, especially for a heavyweight.
So, the hype train started to hit the brakes. Then he took a year off, so it’s fair to say that the train came to a dead stop. But, what better way to jumpstart a hype train than to KO your first opponent in a year in the very first round of the fight?
That’s exactly what Tuivasa did, knocking out Stefan Struve with just one second left in the first round. This jumpstarted Tuivasa’s comeback, as he has gone on to win each of his next four fights all by TKO/KO. His most recent victory was a brutal knockout of fellow brawler Derrick Lewis, who on all accounts had won the first round of the fight. However, after gassing a bit in the second, Lewis ate an elbow that knocked him out like a cartoon character.
Tuivasa is now set to fight Ciryl Gane on Saturday, September 3rd. Gane is coming off the first defeat of his career, where he was out-wrestled by champion Francis Ngannou (yes you read that correctly) at UFC 270. Tuivasa is currently a big underdog in that bout, clocking in at +420 according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Gane is the better and more technical fighter, but there’s something about this run that Tuivasa is on that makes me feel like he stands a decent chance. If you want to back Tuivasa in his fight against Gane, be sure to check out any of these New Jersey Online Casinos. And before you place your bet, remember: Tuivasa was a big underdog against Derrick Lewis too, and look at how that one ended.