Tai Anthony Tuivasa[1][7] (born 16 March 1993)[8] is an Australian professional mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the Heavyweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As of September 5, 2022, he is #4 in the UFC heavyweight rankings.[9]

Tai Tuivasa
Tai Tuivasa at UFC 234.jpg
Tai Tuivasa at UFC 234
BornTai Anthony Tuivasa[1]
(1993-03-16) 16 March 1993 (age 29)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Other namesBam Bam
ResidenceSt Marys, New South Wales, Australia
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight265 lb (120 kg; 18 st 13 lb)
DivisionHeavyweight
Reach75 in (191 cm)
TeamTiger Muay Thai & MMA
American Kickboxing Academy (2020–present)[3][4]
TK MMA & Fitness (2021–present)[4][5][6]
Years active2012–present
Professional boxing record
Total7
Wins5
By knockout3
Losses2
Kickboxing record
Total16
Wins14
By knockout10
Losses2
By knockout1
Mixed martial arts record
Total18
Wins14
By knockout13
By decision1
Losses4
By knockout2
By submission1
By decision1
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Early lifeEdit

Tuivasa was born in Sydney to an Indigenous Australian (Wiradjuri) mother and a Samoan father.[10] He grew up in the western Sydney suburb of Mount Druitt with 11 siblings,[11][12] and predominantly played rugby league in his youth. He was signed by the professional Sydney Roosters rugby league club in 2010 but gave up playing the sport when he developed a gambling addiction.[13]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Tuivasa made his professional MMA debut in August 2012 in his native Australia. He fought sporadically over the next four years, with all of his wins ending in knockouts.[14]

Tuivasa also fought a couple MMA mixed rules bouts with Combat 8 promotions. Tuivasa fought Australian former rugby league representative John Hopoate on 1 December 2012 in the Newcastle Panthers FC arena at Combat 8:02, the second Combat 8 event, winning the fight by TKO.[15] Tuivasa later fought kickboxer Peter Graham at Combat 8:03, in a back and forth brawl that seemed as if Tuivasa would finish his opponent early on. Yet as the fight went on, Graham rallied and Tuivasa tired, leading to an eventual loss for Tuivasa via TKO in the second round due to punches.[16][17]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

In November 2016, it was announced that Tuivasa had signed a four-fight contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. According to Tuivasa, he had to sit out for an extended period due to a knee injury and subsequent surgery.[18]

Tuivasa would make his UFC debut against Rashad Coulter on 19 November 2017 at UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura.[19] Tuivasa won the fight via knockout due to a flying knee in the first round and became the first indigenous Australian to win a UFC fight.[20] This win also earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.[21]

Tuivasa faced Cyril Asker on 11 February 2018 at UFC 221.[22] He won the fight via technical knock out in the first round.[23] On 13 February 2018 Tuivasa entered the UFC's official rankings for heavyweight fighters, coming in at position 15.[24]

In March 2018, Tuivasa signed a new, four-fight contract with UFC.[25] Tuivasa faced Andrei Arlovski on 9 June 2018 at UFC 225.[26] He won the fight by unanimous decision.[27]

Tuivasa faced former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos on 2 December 2018 at UFC Fight Night 142.[28] He lost the fight via technical knockout in round two.[29]

Tuivasa faced Blagoy Ivanov on 8 June 2019 at UFC 238.[30] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[31]

Tuivasa faced Sergey Spivak on 6 October 2019 at UFC 243.[32] He lost the fight via arm-triangle choke in the second round.[33]

Tuivasa was scheduled to face Jarjis Danho on 6 June 2020 at UFC 251.[34] However, on 9 April, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed to a future date.[35]

Tuivasa faced Stefan Struve on 24 October 2020 at UFC 254.[36] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.[37]

Tuivasa was scheduled to face Don'Tale Mayes on 20 March 2021 at UFC on ESPN 21.[38] However, Mayes was removed from the fight during the week leading up to the event for undisclosed reasons and was replaced by promotional newcomer Harry Hunsucker.[39] Tuivasa won the fight via technical knockout in round one.[40]

Tuivasa faced Greg Hardy on 10 July 2021 at UFC 264.[41] He won the fight via knockout in round one.[42] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[43]

Tuivasa was scheduled to face Walt Harris on 30 October 2021 at UFC 267.[44] However, Harris pulled out of the bout and Tuivasa was scheduled to face Augusto Sakai on 20 November 2021 at UFC Fight Night 198.[45] However due to visa issues for Tuivasa, the bout was scrapped.[46] The pair was rescheduled and eventually met on 11 December 2021 at UFC 269.[47] Tuivasa won the fight via knockout in the second round.[48] The win also earned Tuivasa his third Performance of the Night bonus award.[49]

Tuivasa faced Derrick Lewis on 12 February 2022 at UFC 271.[50] Tuivasa won the fight via knockout in round two.[51] The win earned him a Performance of the Night bonus award.[52]

Tuivasa faced Ciryl Gane on 3 September 2022 at UFC Fight Night 209.[53] He lost the fight via knockout in round three after dropping Gane in round two.[54] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[55]

Tuivasa is scheduled to face Sergei Pavlovich on December 3, 2022, at UFC on ESPN 42.[56]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Tuivasa has one son, Carter Tuivasa, with Brierley Pedro who is the sister of UFC light heavyweight fighter Tyson Pedro.[60][61][62]

Tuivasa currently hosts "The Halfcast Podcast" with Tyson Pedro and Andrew Fifita as co-hosts.[63][64][65]

Since 2018, Tuivasa has celebrated his victories by doing a shoey, drinking beer from a borrowed shoe.[66] Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph coined the moniker "Shoeyvasa".[67][68] At UFC 254, he won again but was not allowed to do the shoey in the cage, but has since continued the tradition.[citation needed][69]

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
18 matches 14 wins 4 losses
By knockout 13 2
By submission 0 1
By decision 1 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 14–4 Ciryl Gane KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Tuivasa 3 September 2022 3 4:23 Paris, France Fight of the Night.
Win 14–3 Derrick Lewis KO (elbow) UFC 271 February 12, 2022 2 1:40 Houston, Texas, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 13–3 Augusto Sakai KO (punches) UFC 269 December 11, 2021 2 0:26 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 12–3 Greg Hardy KO (punches) UFC 264 10 July 2021 1 1:07 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 11–3 Harry Hunsucker TKO (punches) UFC on ESPN: Brunson vs. Holland 20 March 2021 1 0:49 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–3 Stefan Struve KO (punches) UFC 254 24 October 2020 1 4:59 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Loss 9–3 Sergey Spivak Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC 243 6 October 2019 2 3:14 Melbourne, Australia
Loss 9–2 Blagoy Ivanov Decision (unanimous) UFC 238 8 June 2019 3 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Loss 9–1 Junior dos Santos TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Tuivasa 2 December 2018 2 2:30 Adelaide, Australia
Win 9–0 Andrei Arlovski Decision (unanimous) UFC 225 9 June 2018 3 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 8–0 Cyril Asker TKO (punches and elbows) UFC 221 11 February 2018 1 2:18 Perth, Australia
Win 7–0 Rashad Coulter KO (flying knee) UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura 19 November 2017 1 4:35 Sydney, Australia Performance of the Night.
Win 6–0 James McSweeney TKO (corner stoppage) AFC 17 15 October 2016 1 5:00 Melbourne, Australia Defended the AFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Brandon Sololi KO (elbow) AFC 16 18 June 2016 1 0:21 Melbourne, Australia Won the AFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 4–0 Gul Pohatu TKO (punches) Urban Fight Night 5 12 December 2015 1 0:44 Liverpool, Australia
Win 3–0 Erik Nosa TKO (punches) Gladiators Cage Fighting: Gladiators 3 9 November 2012 1 0:28 Sydney, Australia
Win 2–0 Aaron Nieborak TKO (punches) Gladiators Cage Fighting: Gladiators 2 31 August 2012 1 N/A Sydney, Australia
Win 1–0 Simon Osborne TKO (punches) Elite Cage Championships 2 6 July 2012 1 N/A Sydney, Australia Heavyweight debut.

[70]

Professional boxing recordEdit

7 fights 5 wins 2 losses
By knockout 3 0
By decision 1 2
By disqualification 1 0

[71]

No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
7 Loss 5–2 Demsey McKean UD 3 15 April 2016

The Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington, Victoria, Australia

Frank Bianco Cup Eight Man Heavyweight tournament Final
6 Win 5–1 David Tuitupou UD 3 Frank Bianco Cup Eight Man Heavyweight tournament Semi Final
5 Win 4–1 Hamad Alloush TKO 2, (3)
1:33
Frank Bianco Cup Eight Man Heavyweight tournament Quarter Final
4 Loss 3–1 Michael Kirby UD 3 3 April 2014 Eight man heavyweight tournament final
3 Win 3–0 Willie Nasio TKO 1, (3)
2:00
Eight man heavyweight tournament Semi final
2 Win 2–0 Brett Smith DQ 1, (3)
3:00
Eight man heavyweight tournament Quarter final
1 Win 1–0 Nathan McKay KO 3, (4)
2:57
13 December 2013 Olympic Park Sports Centre, Homebush, New South Wales, Australia Professional debut

Kickboxing recordEdit

Kickboxing record
14 wins, 2 losses[a]
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time
16 October 2014 Loss   Ismael Lazaar GFC Heavyweight Tournament, Semi Finals[72] Dubai, UAE TKO (punches and knees) 2 1:32
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

MMA mixed rules recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
2 matches 1 win 1 loss
By knockout 1 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 1–1 Peter Graham TKO (punches) Combat8:03 27 April 2013 2 2:55 Big Top Sydney, Newcastle, Australia
Win 1–0 John Hopoate TKO (punches) Combat8:02 1 December 2012 1 1:40 Wests City, Newcastle, Australia

[73][74]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Tuivasa's kickboxing record was announced at the beginning of his bout with Ismael Lazaar.[72]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Mixed Martial Arts Show Results: Date: 20 March 2021 Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas" (PDF). boxing.nv.gov. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  2. ^ "UFC 225 main-card breakdown: Will Holly Holm spoil Megan Anderson's UFC debut?". MMAjunkie. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Tai Tuivasa started training at the AKA gym in California". Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b Sam Bruce (22 February 2021). "Tai Tuivasa drops home comforts for UFC Fight Night preparation". ESPN.
  5. ^ Tai Tuivasa [@bambamtuivasa] (7 February 2021). "Camp underway at @tkmmafit 😅 #bambam #FTA #westernsydney #foboriginal #sparring #ufc #k1" – via Instagram.
  6. ^ Sam Bruce (15 June 2022). "Bam Bam goes to Paris: Tuivasa ready to 'upset the world' once more". ESPN.
  7. ^ "Tai Tuivasa ("Bam Bam") MMA Fighter Page". Tapology.
  8. ^ "Tai "Bam Bam" Tuivasa". Sherdog.
  9. ^ "UFC Rankings, Division Rankings, P4P rankings, UFC Champions | UFC.com". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  10. ^ Ali Almond (3 September 2022). "UFC 209: Tai Tuivasa's Samoan tattoo journey one of worst, and best, experiences of his life". ABC News.
  11. ^ "Tai Tuivasa: The cage or a prison cell". athletesvoice.com. 30 May 2018.
  12. ^ Huw Bonello (17 November 2017). "'Trying to pay back my heart': Aussie UFC fighter Tai Tuivasa's path to redemption". Perth Now.
  13. ^ "Gambling addiction that prompted the star to quit NRL". Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  14. ^ Sherdog.com. "Tai". Sherdog. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Combat8:02 Main Event: Tai Tuivasa vs John Hopoate Video". fightnewsaustralia.com. 2 April 2013.
  16. ^ "Cage Warriors 54 Results". Universal Combat News. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  17. ^ Davies, Ryan (14 November 2017). "Welcome to the UFC: Tai Tuivasa and Nadia Kassem". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  18. ^ Alex Oates (5 August 2017). "UFC: Sydney heavyweight Tai Tuivasa slated to fight American Rashad Coulter in November". couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Gone in 96 seconds: UFC rookie's record". Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Former Sydney Roosters player Tai Tuivasa delivers spectacular KO on UFC debut".
  21. ^ a b Mazique, Brian. "UFC Fight Night 121 Werdum Vs. Tybura Results: Bonus Winners, Highlights, Analysis, Attendance, Gate". Forbes. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  22. ^ "UFC fighters ducking Aussie phenom". Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  23. ^ "UFC 221 results: Tai Tuivasa destroys Cyril Asker with first-round TKO". MMAjunkie. 11 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  24. ^ Tai Tuivasa breaks into UFC heavyweight rankings
  25. ^ Helwani, Ariel (21 March 2018). "Tai Tuivasa signs new four-fight contract with UFC". mmafighting.com.
  26. ^ Helwani, Ariel (16 March 2018). "Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa slated for UFC 225". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  27. ^ "UFC 225 results: Tai Tuivasa bloodied, battered, but outslugs Andrei Arlovski over three rounds". MMAjunkie. 10 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Junior Dos Santos vs Tai Tuivasa set to headline UFC Adelaide". | BJPenn.com. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  29. ^ Straus, Mike. "UFC Adelaide Results: Junior dos Santos Overwhelms Tai Tuivasa With Strikes". www.lowkickmma.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  30. ^ Nick Walshaw (22 March 2017). "Australian Tai Tuivasa will face Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 238 in Chicago". news.com.au. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  31. ^ "UFC 238 results: Blagoy Ivanov outslugs Tai Tuivasa for decision win". MMA Junkie. 9 June 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  32. ^ Marcel Dorff. "Tuivasa vs. Spivak en Kassem vs. Kim toegevoegd aan UFC 243 in Melbourne". mmadna.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  33. ^ "UFC 243 results: Serghei Spivac chokes out Tai Tuivasa to silence rowdy Australian crowd". MMA Fighting. 5 October 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  34. ^ "Tai Tuivasa vs. Jarjis Danho official for UFC 251 in Perth – Fight News Australia". Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  35. ^ Brett Okamoto (9 April 2020). "Dana White says UFC 249 will not happen April 18". espn.com. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  36. ^ Jamal Boussenaf (24 September 2020). "Stefan Struve faces Tai Tuivasa at UFC 254". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 14 July 2022. (in Dutch)
  37. ^ Anderson, Jay (24 October 2020). "UFC 254 Results: Tai Tuivasa Crumples Stefan Struve with Uppercut". Cageside Press. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  38. ^ Farah Hannoun and Nolan King (20 January 2021). "Tai Tuivasa vs. Don'Tale Mayes added to UFC Fight Night on March 20". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  39. ^ Nolan King and John Morgan (17 March 2021). "Tai Tuivasa gets Harry Hunsucker as new opponent for UFC on ESPN 21". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  40. ^ Anderson, Jay (20 March 2021). "UFC Vegas 22 Results: Tai Tuivasa Makes Short Work of Harry Hunsucker". Cageside Press. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  41. ^ "Greg Hardy's wish granted, booked for UFC 264 fight vs. Tai Tuivasa". MMA Junkie. 7 April 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  42. ^ Anderson, Jay (10 July 2021). "UFC 264 Results: Tai Tuivasa Knocks Out Greg Hardy, to Vegas Crowd's Approval". Cageside Press. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  43. ^ a b Alexander K. Lee (11 July 2021). "UFC 264 bonuses: Kris Moutinho earns share of Fight of the Night for gutsy performance". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  44. ^ Nolan King (27 July 2021). "Walt Harris vs. Tai Tuivasa added to UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  45. ^ "Tai Tuivasa gets Augusto Sakai as replacement opponent for UFC Fight Night on Nov. 20". MMA Junkie. 28 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  46. ^ "Tai Tuivasa vs. Augusto Sakai scrapped from UFC Fight Night 198 due to visa issues". MMA Junkie. 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  47. ^ Adam Martin. "Tai Tuivasa vs. Augusto Sakai re-booked for UFC 269". mymmanews.com.
  48. ^ Behunin, Alex (11 December 2021). "UFC 269: Tai Tuivasa Puts Augusto Sakai's Lights Out, Celebrates with Shoey". Cageside Press. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  49. ^ a b Newswire (12 December 2021). "UFC 269 bonuses: Dana White feeling generous, 8 fighters get $50,000 checks". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  50. ^ Holland, Jesse (7 January 2022). "Derrick Lewis vs Tai Tuivasa heavyweight slugfest on tap for UFC 271 in Houston". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  51. ^ Anderson, Jay (13 February 2022). "UFC 271: Tai Tuivasa Elbow Fells "Black Beast" Derrick Lewis". Cageside Press. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  52. ^ a b "UFC 271 bonuses: Tai Tuivasa, Jared Cannonier take home an extra $50,000 for violent KOs". MMA Junkie. 13 February 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  53. ^ Sharma, Nikhil (15 June 2022). "Report | Ciryl Gane Vs. Tai Tuivasa Officially Announced For UFC Paris On 3 September". Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  54. ^ Law, Eddie (3 September 2022). "UFC Paris: Ciryl Gane Survives Tuivasa Power, Wins Via KO In Third Round". Cageside Press. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  55. ^ a b Matthew Wells (3 September 2022). "UFC Fight Night 209 bonuses: Ciryl Gane, Tai Tuivasa's slugfest takes FOTN". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  56. ^ Farah Hannoun (11 October 2022). "Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich added to UFC Fight Night in Orlando on Dec. 3". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  57. ^ "Tai Tuivasa fighting for UFC spot". dailytelegraph. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  58. ^ "Dream of love, and success will come (pp32-34)" (PDF). AIATSIS - The Koori Mail. p. 33. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  59. ^ Mike Bohn (3 August 2021). "MMA Junkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for July: Greg Hardy falls in 67 seconds". MMAjunkie.com.
  60. ^ "UFC 209: Tyson Pedro out to hit it hard in Las Vegas, just like the man he was named after, Mike Tyson". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  61. ^ "Tai Tuivasa to join UFC on four-fight deal and will fight in heavyweight division". Herald Sun. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  62. ^ #19 Tai Tuivasa chats to Robert Whittaker, retrieved 12 July 2021
  63. ^ The halfcast podcast (30 October 2017), The Halfcast Podcast #1, retrieved 24 December 2017
  64. ^ The halfcast podcast (23 November 2017), The Halfcast Podcast #2, retrieved 24 December 2017
  65. ^ The halfcast podcast (7 December 2017), The Halfcast Podcast #3, retrieved 24 December 2017
  66. ^ Danny Segura (11 February 2018). "Tai Tuivasa upset he didn't get bonus at UFC 221: 'I should've gotten 50K just for the shoey'". MMA Fighting.
  67. ^ Lamberton, Richard (10 June 2018). "UFC 225 Chicago: Robert Whittaker defeats Yoel Romero in fight of the year; 'Shoeyvasa' returns". The Daily Telegraph.
  68. ^ "Australia's Whittaker gets split decision at UFC, Tuivasa skols a shoey after undercard win". ABC News. 10 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  69. ^ Brendan Bradford (24 October 2020). "UFC 254:Tai Tuivasa scores first round knockout win over Stefan Struve". Sporting News.
  70. ^ Sherdog.com. "Tai". Sherdog. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  71. ^ "Tai Tuivasa". Boxrec. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  72. ^ a b "♦♦ Ismael Lazaar vs Tai Tuivasa ♦♦ 16-10-'14 ♦♦". Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  73. ^ "Peter Graham proves too good for Tai Tuivasa". Universal Combat News. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  74. ^ Combat 8 (19 March 2013), Combat8:02 - Tai Tuivasa vs John Hopoate, retrieved 22 February 2019

External linksEdit