Aussie heavyweight cult hero Tai Tuivasa scored his fourth-straight UFC knockout victory, crumpling his opponent with a left hook then a furious spray of punches that left Brazilian Augusto Sakai out cold.
The Western Sydney star entered the fight on the back of three-straight first round knockouts, but it took until 26 seconds into round two for him to claim his 14th victory – and his 13th via stoppage.
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After a relatively even first round, Tuivasa walked down his 11th-ranked rival, and rocked him with a left hook. As Sakai retreated, the Australian unleashed a barrage of brutal punches, with a right hand straight up the middle landing on the chin of his opponent and sending him crashing to the canvas unconscious.
Then – with his rival still out cold – Tuivasa climbed onto the octagon fence and drank a trademark shoey to a huge roar from the Las Vegas crowd.
“Las Vegas,” Tuivasa roared in his post-fight interview. “Insane!”
“Like I said in my past interviews, I feel I’m getting better and better at this sport. I heard my corner say ‘that left’s opening him up.’ I just had to stay on my edge and just stalk him and hunt him down.”
“I said it before, I’m a banger from f***ing Western Sydney and I’ll bang on with anyone.”
Asked who he wanted to fight next, he said: “That’s not my job. I come here, I put the show on for a crowd. I’ll fight anyone. I’m going home to spend Christmas with my son. Carter, I love you baby. Let’s f***ing party!”
The 28-year-old entertainer walked to the UFC octagon to the tune of Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’, and exited by enjoying a number of other shoeys, as well as having beer poured all over his face from overjoyed fans.
“It’s raining beer in Las Vegas,” Michael Eaves declared in commentary.
Tuivasa will now earn a heavyweight ranking following the victory over now 15-4-1 Sakai, while his four-straight wins by knockout is second among active fighters only to fellow heavyweight Francis Ngannou (5).
And it’s fair to say the UFC world was in awe of his antics in the octagon – and with shoes in hand. Even the iconic wrestler Steve Austin showed respect to the Aussie.