On Saturday night at UFC 264, Tai Tuivasa (12-3) took on Greg Hardy (7-4, 1 NC) on the main card. The battle of the heavyweight knockout artists promised to bring fireworks and it delivered on Saturday night.
After just a few seconds of feeling the other out, both men started throwing heat. Hardy actually landed the biggest shots early and appeared to briefly stun Tuivasa. However, Tuivasa had been there before and remained composed.
Hardy recklessly rushed in and Tuivasa blasted him with a left that put him down. While follow up shots were landed, they weren’t even needed as Tuivasa got the devastating first round knockout win at UFC 264.
Tuivasa has had a very up and down UFC career thus far. After starting out 3-0 inside the octagon, the Australian heavyweight lost three fights in a row. He has now responded with three consecutive first round knockout victories.
So, it’s been a wave of three fight streaks for Tuivasa in the UFC. Three straight wins followed by three straight losses and now three straight wins again. Perhaps “Bam Bam” could be gearing up for his first four-fight win streak.
What’s next after UFC 264?
The new UFC rankings came out today and Tuivasa didn’t crack the top fifteen after his win over Hardy on Saturday night. That said, I believe he is just on the fringe and having won three in a row, he should get a ranked opponent next or someone on the verge of being ranked.
With that, who should the UFC pair him with. Well, there are a few options, but one really jumps out at me. I would love to see the promotion book Tuivasa against top heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall (10-2).
Out of Aspinall’s ten professional wins, not one has gone the distance. He’s got a tremendous skillset overall and he’s also currently just outside of the UFC heavyweight rankings. Both men are looking to crack the top fifteen and a fight between the two would get it done for one of them.
For Aspinall, it would be a massive fight to show off his toughness and his overall game. For Tuivasa, it would be a chance to show off that he’s still capable of being a top contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division.