UFC Fight Night Sydney Preliminary Card Recap: Tuivasa stuns Sydney crowd with flying knee KO

Tai ‘Bam Bam’ Tuivasa has stolen the show in the UFC Fight Night Sydney prelims with another first-round knockout victory. The Sydney crowd was on their feet from the moment Tuivasa walked to the cage draped in the Aboriginal flag.

The fight ended in dramatic fashion as Tuivasa landed a leg kick on Coulter that sent him falling to the mat. As the American picked himself up off the canvas Tuivasa rushed in and threw a flying knee that landed flush, knocking Coulter out cold.

“I have two goals when I fight; to entertain the fans and to finish my opponent and I got to do both of those tonight.” Tuivasa said in the aftermath.

The win takes Tuivasa’s record to 8-0 as a professional, all by knockout in the first round.

Tai Tuivasa "This is my home this my country"

Tai Tuivasa asks the media if it was really a flying knee following his impressive UFC debut. #UFCSydney.

Posted by Fight News Australia on Saturday, 18 November 2017

Tai Tuivasa “This is my home this my country”

Tai Tuivasa asks the media if it was really a flying knee following his impressive UFC debut. #UFCSydney.

Posted by Fight News Australia on Saturday, November 18, 2017

It was mixed results for the pair of Australian Top Team fighters Ashkan Mokhtarian and Nadia Kassem.

Mokhtarian used his distance in the opening rounds and landed a number of big left hands before eventually becoming undone by Ryan Benoit, who landed a perfectly placed head kick that knocked out Mokhtarian.

Despite the loss, the Australian Top Team will be happy with the result of their debuting fighter Nadia Kassem, who improved her unbeaten record to 5-0. Taking on fellow Aussie Alex Chambers, it was a back-and-forth affair with both fighters having their moments on the feet. Chambers pressured the youngster for much of the fight as she sought and earned takedowns.

When the fight hit the mat Kassem was extremely threatening off her back looking for a heel hook in the first round and nearly securing a triangle in the second.

“I was surprised that she didn’t try to throw up any submissions but I really didn’t give her the opportunity. I knew I had to control those exchanges on the ground so I would throw some strikes and then go for the submission.” Kassem said of the fight.

Damien Brown showed Australian fight fans once again that he always comes to fight in his close split decision loss to Frank Camacho. Both fighters threw caution to the wind and traded in the pocket to the delight of the Sydney crowd.

UFC Fight Night 121 took place Sunday, 19 November 2017 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. In the main event, former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum takes on Poland’s Marcin Tybura.

Preliminary Card Results:

  • Ryan Benoit def. Mokhtarian via third round knockout (head kick).
  • Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks via second round submission (guillotine).
  • Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter via first-round knockout (knee).
  • Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-28)
  • Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
  • Eric Shelton def. Jenal Lausa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)
  • Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC Fight Night 121 Sydney Weigh-in Photos

My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook.  I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.