Tai Tuivasa vs Blagoy Ivanov
Free UFC Pick: Tai Tuivasa
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes -145
Behold the perfect fighter’s body! If we have learned anything in the past several years is that you don’t need abs to be the best damn heavyweight on the planet. Daniel Cormier, Roy Nelson, Tai Tuivasa, and recently crowned Andy Ruiz Jr. have shown us that just because youre “fluffy’ doesn’t mean you can’t bang.
“Bam Bam’ Tai Tuivasa is a massive star in the making for the UFC’s heavyweight division. He runs his mouth and backs up every word. He is respectful to his opponents while believing that he can and will knock every single one of them out. If the UFC plays their cards right this kid could be a big deal. He is explosive and fast with knock out power and his stand up game is improving.
Tai Tuivasa and Blagoy Ivanov share a common opponent in Junior dos Santos. Blagoy lost a 5 round unanimous decision to the former heavyweight champion and Tai lost via 2nd round TKO. Now you’d normally expect that I would lean to Blagoy given his appeared to have a better performance against a common opponent, but that isn’t the case here. Tai Tuivasa had Junior hurt badly and more than once in their fight and basically forced a champion calibur power puncher into a firefight. Tai hurt JDS’ legs to the point where he could not use his trademark footwork and was landing heavy shots on him. Tai was fighting the perfect game plan and it seemed like just a matter of time until he shut off Dos Santos’ lights and then he made one mistake that cost him the fight. Junior caught Tai while he was slightly off balance and mounted him. Even while fully mounted and getting pounded on Tai roared protest and the referee stopped the fight because he could not escape the position, not because he had been knocked out or hurt.
Tuivasa has taken the last 6 months off and I can only expect that he has improved on his game. Blagoy, on the other hand, lost to JDS in July 2018 and then faced Big Ben Rothwell in March of this year. Another fight where the record lies. Somehow Blagoy was gifted a unanimous decision on a card where awful judging was commonplace and let ’em tell you… he did NOT win that fight.
Blagoy is powerful and fast for a heavyweight, but he is not on Tuivasa’s level physically. Blagoy may be a more polished boxer, but Tai has a very well rounded striking game where he utilizes leg kicks very well and Blagoy has shown a weakness to leg kicks in his last few fights. Much like his fight with Dos Santos, I expect Tuivasa to out maneuver and chip apart his opponent until he finds the opening for that last big shot that ends the night. And then as is tradition I expect Tai to celebrate his win with a shoey.