Tai Tuivasa loses decision to Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 238

Sydney’s Tai Tuivasa lost for the second consecutive time in the Octagon earlier today, with Bulgarian Blagov Ivanov taking a unanimous decision.

The heavyweight bout started the main card of UFC 238 which took place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Neither fighter took a backward step early before Tuivasa rushed forward with a barrage of strikes. The two clinched against the cage and as they separated, Tuivasa came forward but got caught behind the ear with a swinging right that dropped the 26-year-old. Ivanov tried to capitalise, pouncing on Tuivasa before switching to a guillotine choke. Tuivasa escaped and returned fire with a short elbow.

The 32-year-old Ivanov wasn’t scared in exchanging with Tuivasa as the two increased the tempo for the rest of the round.

A straight right from Tuivasa clobbered Ivanov and sent his legs wobbling. Tuivasa attempted to put Ivanov away but his opponent had enough in him to clinch where he gathered his senses.

With the high tempo of the bout, both heavyweights were starting to deplete their gas tanks while continuing to throw heavy shots.

Tuivasa’s powerful leg kicks where starting to take their toll on Ivanov who had front foot kicked out from him in the opening seconds of the last round. Ivanov again tied his opponent against the cage where he landed what appeared to be low-blow. Tuivasa winced in pain and complained to the referee Dan Miragliotta, who told the Aboriginal fighter to continue.

Ivanov continued to look for that standing guillotine but it never really came close to being locked up as the two traded positions against the cage.

Ultimately, the fight was closer than the judges indicated, with scorecards of 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all to Ivanov who moves his record to 18-2 (UFC 3-1).

The Bulgarian, who is a training partner of Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez, moves his record to 18-2 (UFC 3-1). Meanwhile, Tuivasa drops to 10-2 (UFC 3-2).

“He’s a very tough guy. I watch all his fights and I know he’s [was going to be] good at standup” Ivanov told UFC commentator Joe Rogan after his bout.