Tai Anthony Tuivasa (aka “Bam Bam”) born March 16th, 1993 in Sydney, Australia is an entertaining fighter to watch. His punching power, and explosive moves make him a deadly force within the UFC heavyweight division. With 12 wins by way of knockout, Tuivasa has quickly become a fan favourite.
The 28 year-old has a professional MMA record of 13-3, and a professional boxing record of 5-3.
Tuivasa joined the UFC in November 2016 and has output 3 ‘Performances of the Night’, with wins over Rashad Coulter, Greg Hardy and recently, Augusto Sakai.
Tuivasa’s fighting style is punch heavy, with the use of elbows and flying knees to stun and deck his opponents. He stands at 6′ 2″, which, in his division, makes him quite a bit smaller than the rest of the UFC heavyweight roster. He uses this to his advantage, blitzing toward his opponents, and using his speed and power to catch them.
Tuivasa does not come from a traditional martial arts background and, training at Tiger Muay Thai, he’s a poster boy for the old UFC cage fighting style. Aggressive and powerful, Tuivasa can be likened to fighters such as Mark Hunt and Tank Abbott.
Tuivasa ends all his wins with his well-known tradition of a ‘shoey’, in which he drinks a beer out of a shoe. Tuivasa is also proud of his Aboriginal heritage, as he walks out with the flag, and previously took part in a showcased Aboriginal ritual when he fought Junior Dos Santos.
Tuivasa shines under the focused spotlight and if he doesn’t win a UFC belt in his career, he’ll be known as a people’s champion.
Okay, so now you know something about “Bam Bam’s” backstory, let’s take a look at his most brutal, and devastating knockouts as we breakdown Tai Tuivasa’s Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Cyril Asker – UFC 221 (Feb. 11, 2018)
To start, here Tuivasa backs Cyril up to the cage with counter punches.
After just 90 seconds into the first round, Bam Bam starts to land powerful punches and elbows which rock Cyril.
Landing heavy shots to the face and body, Tuivasa aggressively hunts for an early finish, and he gets it.
He lands a right elbow which knocks Cyril to the ground. The referee quickly steps in to call the fight at 2:18 of round 1.
4. Vs. Stefan Struve – UFC 254 (Oct. 24, 2020)
Stefan Struve steps into the fight with a height and reach advantage, standing at 6′ 11.5″ with a reach of 84.5 inches. Tuivasa will need to get on the inside to land any significant shots.
Struve also had a 33-12 pro MMA record and comes from a Muay Thai background, making him the more experienced fighter.
In round 1, Tuivasa’s consistent pressure pushes Struve to the side of the cage as both fighters clinch.
Tuivasa lands body shots and knees to the inside of Struve’s leg from the clinch position before landing several leg kicks as he dominates the range.
With just 10 seconds left on the clock in the first, Tuivasa then lands a clean uppercut that drops Struve and follows with a right hook. The referee steps in a second before the bell rings, declaring Tuivasa the winner at 4:59 of round 1.
3. Vs. Brandon Sosoli – AFC 16 (June 18, 2016)
This pro MMA fight was for the AFC Heavyweight Championship, the Australian-based promotion.
Tuivasa, with only 3 pro wins to his name, sought to make his mark on the MMA world, becoming the second Heavyweight Champion in the company.
At just 21 seconds into round one, Tuivasa pushes Sosoli to the cage and lands a massive, heavy, right elbow which knocks Sosoli unconscious for the KO win.
2. Vs. Rashad Coulter – UFC 121 (Nov. 19, 2017)
This fight was Tai Tuivasa’s UFC debut coming in as a 7-0 undefeated heavyweight.
In round 1, both fighters clinch, and Tuivasa lands a right hook and a few knees but gets pushed to the ground. Finding himself in this bad position however, he successfully finds his way back to his feet.
Bam Bam then lands a range of strikes to his opponent’s body and head involving several leg kicks, and a powerful, accurately placed one which knocks Coulter to the ground.
As Coulter attempts to get back to his feet, he is caught with a flying left knee to the chin which knocks him unconscious, at 4:35 of the first round.
This was another great knockout by Tuivasa, and a ‘Performance of the Night’ finish for his UFC debut adding to his undefeated tally.
1. Vs. Greg Hardy – UFC 264 (July 10, 2021)
For this fight, Tuivasa comes in the smaller fighter, with Greg Hardy standing at 6′ 5″ with a reach of 80 inches. Hardy also being a knockout specialist, with five of his seven wins coming by way of KO/TKO, meant that this fight would most likely end in a knockout.
In round 1, Tuivasa establishes dominance from the outset, with right and left kicks to Hardy’s legs.
Both fighters then begin swinging hooks, with Hardy landing a right on Tuivasa’s chin, rocking the Aussie.
As Tuivasa backs up to the cage he throws a right and lands a powerful left hook to Hardy’s temple, knocking him to the ground.
“Bam Bam” Tuivasa then follows up with a hammer fist but is stopped by the referee, who calls the end at just 1:07 of the first round.
Tuivasa jumps on the cage and does his famous “shoey”, celebrating another ‘Performance of the Night’.