Tai Tuivasa making waves

Gareth Hunter Roar Rookie

By Gareth Hunter, Gareth Hunter is a Roar Rookie

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    Debuting for the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world, UFC, and winning by KO in the first round is a fairytale start. South Sydney heavy hitter Tai Tuivasa lived that fairytale in his hometown of Sydney at UFC: Werdum vs Tybura.

    Tuivasa also got the dream-finish bonus, over Rashad Coulter, with a rare heavyweight flying knee knockout!

    Tuivasa’s brother in law, Tyson Pedro, is also making waves, with a 2-1 record in the UFC since debuting in Melbourne a year ago. Although Tai would be happy for Pedro, it must have been frustrating to see him fight three time in the UFC before Tai could even debut.

    Tuivasa sustained a nasty leg injury against UFC veteran James McSweeney. Not long after beating McSweeney, Tuivasa signed with the UFC but due to the injury, it has taken a year for him to finally step into the octagon.

    Tuivasa boasts a long list of professional sporting credits. He signed with the National Rugby League’s Sydney Roosters in 2010, but left after off-field issues. He sporadically fought in Australian MMA promotions over a number of years, and holds an impressive boxing record, winning five fights and only dropping two – both coming by unanimous decision in heavyweight tournament finals.

    A few months after losing a boxing final, Tuivasa went back to MMA and fought fellow Aussie Brandon Sosoli for the AFC heavyweight championship. Tuivasa made quick work of Sosoli with a knockout elbow, looking to have not even broken a sweat.

    Fast forward just over a year and Tuivasa has made himself a household name among MMA fans.

    Coulter also boasts a long list of knockout victories, with eight knockouts, and none of his 11 fights have gone the distance. Going into the fight between Tuivasa and Coulter, the popular belief was the fight would be lucky to go past the second round.

    After the fight, Tuivasa put the heavyweight division on notice when asked what his message was, saying, “Hi, it’s me again”, which had the crowd in fits of laughter.

    Now he will be looking for a fight at UFC: Perth next year.

    Tuivasa himself would likely want to face another banger, like himself. After that though, he will most likely face someone with over four fights in the UFC to truly test him, and maybe a fighter who boasts a good wrestling or jiu-jitsu background.

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