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Everything You Need to Know About Tai Tuivasa Before UFC 264

MMA fans around the world are eagerly anticipating UFC 264, where star fighter Conor McGregor and number one-ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier are having their trilogy bout in an event that’s likely to be the biggest ticket-seller of the year. There are some other exciting matchups on the main card, though, and one pits Australian heavyweight Tai Tuivasa against former NFL player Greg Hardy. If you want to learn more about some of these fighters before you watch UFC 264 online this evenin, read on to see everything you need to know about Tai Tuivasa.

Then 28-year-old Tuivasa was born in Sydney, Australia in 1993 to an Aboriginal mother and Samoan father. One of 12 children, he took an interest in playing rugby as a youth, and in 2010, Tuivasa was signed by the professional Sydney Roosters rugby club. His rugby career was short-lived, as he retired from the sport after developing a gambling addiction.

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Tuivasa took up professional fighting not long thereafter, making his pro MMA debut in 2012 and his pro boxing debut in 2013. He racked up a boxing record of five wins and two losses between 2013 and 2016; in MMA, the Australian heavyweight established himself as a knockout artist and was signed by the UFC in late 2016 after winning all six of his fights — each one a victory by knockout.

His UFC debut came about a year later in November 2017. Tuivasa won his first three bouts handily, taking the first two by knockout (bringing his knockout string to eight) and his third by decision. That decision victory, while unanimous, might have been a foreboding sign that his momentum was starting to slow: His next three matchups all ended in defeat — one by TKO, one by decision, one by submission — bringing his nine-win streak to a screeching halt.

Tuivasa recovered from his one-year slump and returned to form at UFC 254 last October, where he defeated Stefan Struve with a first-round KO one second before the bell rang. A few months later in March of this year, he clinched another TKO win over Harry Hunsucker at UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Holland, bringing his professional MMA record to 11-3.

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The betting odds currently slide in Tuivasa’s favor for his next showdown against Greg Hardy at UFC 264, and we’ll see tonight if the Australian heavyweight will continue his upward climb with a third win. If you want to watch UFC 264 online, then now’s the time to sign up for ESPN+ and grab the UFC 264 PPV so you can stream all the action live. The main card begins at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.

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