UFC 293 Co-Main Preview: Tai Tuivasa – Alexander Volkov

Dec 11, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Tai Tuivasa is declared the winner by knockout against Agusto Sakai during UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 293, we are going to see a battle between two top ten heavyweights. Australia’s own Tai Tuivasa (15-5) will try to reverse his recent fortunes as he takes on the very tough “Drago” Alexander Volkov (36-10).

Starting in 2020 and running through February 2022, Tai Tuivasa saw his career completely turn around. After a three-fight losing streak, Tuivasa started training hard and really taking his career seriously. What resulted was a five-fight winning streak that included a knockout over Derrick Lewis.

That led him to a main event last September against Ciryl Gane. Tuivasa dropped Gane in the matchup, but ultimately got stopped in the third round. He turned around and fought against in December against top contender Sergei Pavlovich and got knocked out in the first. Now, he’ll look to get back on track against Volkov.

Alexander Volkov won his first four fights in the UFC and was seconds away from a win over Derrick Lewis back in 2018 that would’ve likely earned him a title shot. Unfortunately, Lewis knocked him out. Starting with that fight, he’s 6-4 in last ten. He has very solid wins, but he’s fallen short against the premier heavyweights in the division.

Entering UFC 293, he’s won back-to-back fights by first round stoppage. He’s hoping to get a big win over Tuivasa which will get him close to being back in the top five.

UFC 293 Prediction

Alexander Volkov fights incredibly long and fights with a ton of volume. He breaks down his opponents with his volume and just his presence inside the octagon. He’s going to come forward and he’s going to throw a laboring attack at Tuivasa. That said, he’s not the fastest guy in the world and doesn’t throw with great speed.

That is where Tuivasa has a big advantage at UFC 293. Despite his size and stature, Tuivasa is very fast and throws heavy heat behind very punch. When these two exchange, Tuivasa is likely going to get to his spot before Volkov. It’s all going to come down to whether or not Volkov can take those shots.

I think Tuivasa has the power to get this done. After a brief feeling out period, I think you’ll see a lot of big exchanges in the first round and one will occur where Tuivasa will land big. He’ll rock Volkov and follow up to get the finish. Following that, he’ll jump on the cage and have a shoey while the Australian fans lose their mind at UFC 293.

Prediction: Tai Tuivasa by TKO – Round 1