Twenty one year-old combat sports all rounder, and former under 20s Sydney Rooster, Tai Tuivasa, is set to make his Global Fighting Championship debut Thursday 16 October in Dubai. ‘Bam Bam’ will be contesting the promotion’s four-man, one-night heavyweight tournament alongside Melvin Manhoef, Ismael Lazaar and Mohamed Karim, under K1 kickboxing rules. The winner will walk away with a tidy one million Dirhams, or just over AUD$313,100.
The event, which will feature a mix bag of kickboxing and MMA, will take place at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium and will be headlined by a K1 rules matchup between Badr Hari (104-12) and Patrice Quarteron (38-5). Also slated for the card, Kiwi welterweight Luke Jumeau (6-4) takes on Mohammad Mansoori (1-3). Tuivasa is slated to meet Ismael Lazaar (24-1-2) from the Netherlands first up in the tournament.
Originally from St Mary’s in Sydney’s western suburbs, and now training at the Tiger Muay Thai camp in Thailand, Tuivasa returns to action following the ‘Last Man Standing’, eight-man boxing tournament earlier this year in Melbourne. On that night, after defeating Brett Smith and Willie Nasio to earn a spot in the final, the youngster pushed Michael Kirby to the judges scorecards, but lost a unanimous points decision to the veteran boxer. Also dabbling in MMA in the past, Tuivasa is undefeated with appearances in the Gladiators Cage Fighting promotion in Sydney. He’s also known for his time spent fighting in the now defunct modified MMA rules promotion Combat8, where notably he put in a strong start against combat sports veteran Peter Graham, however ultimately went down to ‘The Chief’ in the second round. He also holds a TKO victory over John Hopoate in the same promotion.
- Badr Hari vs Patrice Quarteron – Kickboxing
- Zabit Samedov vs Jafar Ahmadi – Kickboxing
- Melvin Manhoef vs Mohamed Karim – Four-Man Tournament (K1 Rules)
- Ismael Lazaar vs Tai Tuivasa – Four-Man Tournament (K1 Rules)
- Luke Jumeau vs Mohammad Mansoori – MMA
- Ahmed Amir vs Hussein Mollamahdi – MMA
- Erkan Varol vs Jamnian Srikam