After only two Ultimate Fighting Championship appearances, Tai Tuivasa was assigned a former heavyweight titleholder in Andrei Arlovski. It showed the organization has faith in the Australian, and why not? Before the fight with Arlovski, Tuivasa finished all seven of his opponents in the first round.
At UFC Fight Night 142, he is given another big-name opponent in Junior dos Santos. A win over the Brazilian should propel him into the top 10. As Tuivasa prepares to perform in front of his countrymen, learn more about him through the following figures:
7: Professional boxing fights. Tuivasa went 5-2, with three of those victories coming by way of knockout.
16: Professional kickboxing bouts. Tuivasa won 14 of them and only four went the distance. With such extensive striking background, it’s no surprise he is making a mark early in his UFC career.
19: Years old when he made his professional mixed martial arts debut. It happened on Aug. 31, 2012 at Gladiators Cage Fighting: Gladiators 2.
3: Year layoff since his two-fight stint at Gladiators Cage Fighting (GCF). After the long wait, he fought at Urban Fight Night (UFN).
5: Knockout victories to start his professional MMA career. Tuivasa fought Aaron Nieborak and Erik Nosa at GCF and Gul Pohatu at UFN. Then, he captured the Australian Fighting Championship heavyweight title by defeating Brandon Sololi and successfully defended it against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 semifinalist James McSweeney.
3: Fights that ended in less than one minute. As mentioned, he finished all his opponents in the first round before facing Arlovski. Three of those bouts were stopped early, thanks to the Australian’s crisp striking.
54: Significant strikes landed as opposed to Arlovski’s 51, per Fightmetric. Faced with a big-name opponent, Tuivasa stood his ground where others could have folded. He went toe-to-toe with the veteran on his way to a bloody decision victory.
55: Percent striking accuracy. In his three fights inside the Octagon, Tuivasa has attempted 207 significant strikes and landed 114.
0: Takedowns scored inside the Octagon. Obviously, Tuivasa likes to keep the fight standing and has been successful. He also has yet to attempt a single submission.
4: Fight contract with the UFC. His upcoming fight with dos Santos marks the last fight on his contract, but given his success and impact in the division, there’s no question about his staying power.
1: Fight outside of Australia. He has fought only once outside of his homeland, and that’s in his most recent bout against Arlovski, which happened in Chicago.
1: Performance of the Night award. In front of his home crowd at UFC Fight Night 121, he completely shut down Rashad Coulter and finished the Bellator MMA vet with a flying knee. The stoppage came at 4:35 of the first round.
25: Years of age. Tuivasa was born on March 16, 1993 in Sydney. Currently, he resides in St. Marys, New South Wales, together with his family.