Tai Tuivasa celebrates his victory over Cyril Asker in their heavyweight bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on Feb. 11, 2018. (Photo: Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Tai Tuivasa has confirmed that he will be meeting Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 238 in Chicago this June.
According to an interview with Australian outlet Sports News on Friday, Tuivasa (8-1) explained that he would be facing Ivanov (17-2, 1 NC) at UFC 238 on June 8 at the United Center in Chicago. Originally reporting this matchup was The Daily Telegraph. While Tuivasa still has his sights set on Justin Willis, Willis is booked against Curtis Blaydes at UFC Fight Night 148 in Nashville, Tenn.
Of his opponent Ivanov and potential future foe "Big Pretty," Tuivasa said, "I've heard one story that he got stabbed. He's a soldier, but I don't know much more about him. He's tough, he's got a good record and he seems like a nice guy. It'll be a good fight. He's a stand-up guy, so it should be good. Hopefully I'll put him out quick, get back in the winner's circle, get 'Big Titties' and get JDS back again one day."
Tuivasa suffered his first career defeat at the hands of Junior dos Santos at UFC Fight Night 142 in December. Prior to that, the entertaining Aussie was an unbeaten 8-0 with seven first round knockouts. Making his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 121 in 2017, he became the first heavyweight in company history to knock out an opponent with a flying knee when he smashed Rashad Coulter.
Former World Series of Fighting and Professional Fighters League champ Ivanov captured his first win inside the Octagon earlier this March with a decision over Ben Rothwell. Prior to that, he also dropped a bout to dos Santos last July, giving the Bulgarian his first loss on the scorecards in his career. A former Bellator MMA competitor as well, despite not competing for the promotion since 2014, Ivanov still holds the all-time submission win record in Bellator heavyweight history with four.
UFC 238 will take place on June 8 at the United Center in Chicago. No headliner has been announced for the card, but the promotion has scheduled a women's flyweight title fight between divisional queen Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Eye. Additional bouts on the card include a pivotal strawweight affair between Tatiana Suarez and Nina Ansaroff, and a women's flyweight encounter between Katlyn Chookagian and Joanne Calderwood.