Tai Tuivasa added yet another brutal knockout to his resume on Saturday night at UFC 269.
Following a back-and-forth opening round, Tuivasa came out guns blazing in the second as he was headhunting Augusto Sakai until clipping the Brazilian with a well-timed left hand. Once Sakai was stunned, Tuivasa went in for the kill as he blitzed his opponent with a barrage of punches until a right hand landed clean on the jaw.
As soon as the shot landed, Sakai just crumbled backwards to the mat as the fight was stopped at just 26 seconds into the second round.
“I feel I’m getting better and better at this sport,” Tuivasa said after celebrating with his signature ‘shoey’ on top of the cage. “I heard my corner say that left’s opening up. I’ve said it before, I’m a banger from western Sydney and I’ll bang with anyone.”
Tuivasa was looking to set up his punches in the first round but Sakai was doing a good job defending while also closing the distance to keep the power-punching Australia close to him so he could avoid those kinds of wild flurries.
While Tuivasa was still hitting him hard with inside shots and a few elbow strikes as well, Sakai was staying out of trouble but that all changed with the first exchange in the second round.
As soon as Tuivasa came out from his corner, he launched a left hand that clipped Sakai and that was the beginning of the end for the Brazilian heavyweight. Once Tuivasa had his opponent stunned, he wasn’t stopping until Sakai was unconscious.
After suffering through a three-fight losing streak, Tuivasa has rebounded with four consecutive wins — all by knockout — and it appears he’s ready for another ranked opponent when he returns in 2022.