On Saturday, Tai Tuivasa was in the cage in the UFC 271, where he won the fight against Derrick Lewis via a knockout in just the second round. This win had earned him the Performance of the Night bonus award. The 28 years old fighter, who weighs 265lbs and is 6'2 tall, won his fifth fight in a row and has a Pro MMA record of 15-3-0. "Bam Bam,” as he is fondly called, is the current fourth-best MMA Heavyweight Fighter.
Tai Tuivasa vs. Derrick Lewis
The Australian fighter was in an exciting fight with Derrick Lewis, a fight many people have referred to as a great fight. The Saturday night was a heavy night for all kickboxing lovers as the UFC 271 had them waiting for a thrilling fight from fighters such as Adesanya and Whittaker.
The fight was an intense one for Tai, as he was able to deliver a heavy blow on Lewis that made him crash down fist first on the ground.
The fight was brought to a stop, and Tuivasa celebrated his victory coming on at just 1:40 into the beginning of the second round.
Tuivasa had been the highlight of the UFC 271 stealing the show from Adesanya. At the end of the match, he had said in an interview, "That's the King of Knockouts. Much respect to Derrick." He continued by saying, "I'm young and up and coming. I'm taking over now. My name's Tai, like Muay Thai! I like throwing elbows. I like getting nitty-gritty, and I'm f*cking always down to get down."
The match was entertaining, albeit a short one, with both fighters possessing strong one-punch knockout. Lewis and Tuivasa were both professional, looking out and ready to take advantage of any mistake from the other fighter. Tuivasa had delivered very precise leg kicks, and Lewis became aggressive with his punches as well, but this was a show that couldn't go past the second round as Tuivasa ended it with a powerful knockout just at the start of the second round.
Although Tuivasa had won, Lewis was incredible in the cage and was able to take down Tai a couple of times, but he could not keep him down. The fight had a series of exchanges of punches between the two fighters, and the wild exchanges had continued, but Tuivasa was confident in his strength. After enduring a few shots, kicks, and punches from Lewis, he went on to start his delivery and fired back with just as much intensity as he had received.
Indeed, it was an unbelievable fight for Tuivasa, who had gone and fought Lewis in his hometown and knocked him outright in the middle of the second round. Tuivasa has won five fights in a roll, all via knockout, and had made a significant leap in the UFC heavyweight division.
What is Next for Tai?
The question on everyone's mind now is who Tai would be facing next. The fighter seems to be in top form and could be up for a title shot. His knockout against Derrick was a fascinating fight and was a thrilling show for the co-main event. So who's next for him?
He just beat the number three guy in the heavyweight and could face the two guys ranked ahead of him: Curly Gane and Stipe Miocic, who had lost their last fights. We can't say for sure if Tai's next fight will be a title shot, but the division seems to be very open, and hence, we can expect anything at the moment.
His likely fight will be against the winner of the fight between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Marcin Tybura on the ninth of April. So that may likely be the next big fight for Tuivasa. Tuivasa already has a lot of stock on him at the moment, and so he might just need a second big fight with a highly ranked opponent to put him on the high road of possibly getting a title shot. All UFC fans love a heavyweight with rising stock.
Although there are tons of other fighting alternatives that Tuivasa may have, Rozenstruik and Tybura are the two most suitable fighters who will battle it out with Tuivasa. We are looking forward to such an amazing fight.
Other options open for Tai's next fight, for instance, a possible fight between him and Francis Ngannou, is very likely as he has defeated Gane and Miocic and might likely face Tuivasa, who is currently the clear title challenger in the division. However, if Ngannou should fight Jones, Tuivasa's best bet will be between him and the former interim champion.
Tuivasa has undergone an impressive metamorphosis over the years and has jumped back to his winning ways after facing three terrible defeats to Junior dos Santos, Blagoy Ivanov, and Sergey Spivak. He has now won five straight fights via KO in the first two around after defeating Lewis, Augusta Sakai, Greg Hardy, Harry Hunsucker, and Stefan Struve.
The main event between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya had also been a wonderful fight, with Adesanya winning Robert Whittaker by decision in their rematch.
So, it seems like Tuivasa's future is not pretty sure, and as such, we may not be clear as to what is up next for him, but we may pretty be certain that whatsoever is coming will pretty much be amazing and thrilling.
He will certainly need to train harder because it is clear that he is already on the road to having a title match and, as such, will face a very fierce contender. But judging from his previous fights and his current five-fight winning streak, we are confident in his ability to turn even the most aggressive of fights to his advantage and deliver more powerful knockouts.
Whoever comes for him, whatever is up next for him, one thing is for sure: Tai Tuivasa has got a winning mentality and a hunger to win, and if he maintains that, he could soon turn out to be the reigning champion in the heavyweight division.