It’s another return to Australia for the UFC as they round up their second event in as many days with a heavyweight clash between Junior Dos Santos and Tai Tuivasa.
It has been a topsy turvy few years for the former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos (19-5) who can’t seem to put together any sort of winning streak.
The Brazilian has won a fight to lose a fight in each of his last 7 outings and “Cigano” is hoping to put together back to back wins on Saturday night as he faces Tai Tuivasa (8-0) who is yet to taste defeat in his professional career.
SLUG FEST OR TENTATIVE AFFAIR?
On paper, this could be a classic heavyweight showdown with both men combining for 20 knockouts in their pro career but with such ferocity in the hands of both fighters, will it be all out war or a standoffish contest?
Dos Santos is the more experienced fighter without a doubt and given the stop-start nature of his recent outings inside the Octagon, it is very likely that he will be the more cautious of the two combatants. A loss for the former champ could be catastrophic as he attempts to stay relevant at the top of the heavyweight division.
Tuivasa only has one style…. Push forward and connect with everything he’s got and to his credit, it has worked wonders and has only been the distance once – his last fight against veteran Andrei Arlovski.
You can be sure that Tuivasa will want to meet in the centre of the Octagon and trade punches but don’t be too shocked if Dos Santos hangs on the outside in the early goings of the bout.
As has been mentioned, the two possess very clear knock out power however, Dos Santos has the better boxing and is regarded as the best boxer in any division in mixed martial arts.
Utilising the jab and following up with body shots to the body would be wise for Dos Santos as Tuivasa does tend to leave openings there and could really make the Australian think twice about going hell for leather in the opening exchanges.
If Tuivasa tightens up somewhat and doesn’t overly exert his intentions in the early goings, he could surprise Dos Santos and while he may not have the speed advantage, he does have the power advantage and if he connects with Dos Santos’ suspect chin, it could be lights out. The only concern would be not to go too gun-ho and find himself lit up by a stinging counter hook.
It’s an intriguing fight and on paper at least, a very ‘fan favourite’ fight with two knock out artists going at it.
If Dos Santos can somehow regain the form of yesteryear, he stands a big chance in the fight but his inconsistencies would be of concern and Tuivasa’s power is a nightmare match up for anybody right now and the Australian should have enough in him to get the job done in front of an expectant home town crowd.
Tai Tuivasa via KO/TKO – Round 2