For a young and somewhat untested fighter, Tai Tuivasa gave a good accounting for himself in his first UFC main event.
The Sydney native was fearless in front of his countrymen at UFC Adelaide, decisively winning the first round of their heavyweight slugfest.
But Junior dos Santos rose all the way to the top of the mountain for a reason. As soon as he had an opportunity in round two, he pounced, and the former champion rolled from there to victory.
The time of the finish was 2:30 as dos Santos took the TKO win at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
“My gosh, man, I’m so happy,” dos Santos said. “This guy’s tough, I knew he was tough. He kicked me very hard in the legs and I’m feeling it now.”
Indeed, Tuivasa landed with vicious low kicks, more than one of which made dos Santos visibly wince. He also waded forward and through heavy shots. Dos Santos tied him up along the cage to slow Tuivasa’s momentum, but Tuivasa frequently landed huge elbows off the break for his troubles.
Tuivasa’s confidence turned into recklessness in the second round, though. Dos Santos started to land with big shots. Tuivasa made a “bring it” gesture with his hands and charged forward, only to be met with gigantic lefts and rights which ultimately dropped him.
From there, it was a matter of time. Tuivasa did his best to improve his position, but it ended with dos Santos in full mount raining down punches. Ref Herb Dean finally had enough and waved things off.
Dos Santos improved to 20-5 with the victory. He’s won two in a row and three of four.
“I have knockout power and I can knock anyone out,” he said after his 13th career KO/TKO win.
Tuivasa dropped to 8-1 in his career, 3-1 in the UFC.
“Hey, JDS is very good,” Tuivasa said. “I was pressing him, I was comfortable, I was sticking to the game plan.”