Coming into UFC 254, Stefan Struve certainly understood the position opponent Tai Tuivasa was in. The towering heavyweight had once been on a three-fight skid of his own. The exact circumstances Australia’s Tuivasa found himself in the start the night. Dire straights, in other words. Tuivasa was on the brink of disaster, with a fourth loss likely spelling his exit from the promotion.
He earned some breathing room on Saturday, however.
During the broadcast, Jon Anik agreed to do a “shoey” should Tuivasa (who spent some time training at American Kickboxing Academy) win the bout. Okay then. Lots more on the line in this one.
To start the fight, Tuivasa moved forward, eventually trapping Struve along the fence. Tuivasa added some knees to the thigh, and punches to the body on his much taller opponent. Not surprisingly, however, he struggled with the height, and the pair would break. Struve would get his kicks going, keeping the Australian on the outside at times. But Tuivasa was winning the striking battle, staying busy, and firing off a number of leg kicks of his own. Any time “Bam Bam” closed the distance, he put Struve in serous danger. Finally, after throwing Struve down following a right hand, Tuivasa landed an uppercut that crumpled the big Dutchman. The end came with just a second left in the round.
Get the shoeys ready 👟
🇦🇺 @BamBamTuivasa with the buzzer beater and he's ready to celebrate!
— UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
Following the bout, Tuivasa could be heard calling for a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus. With that finish, he just might get it.
Enjoy your shoey, Jon Anik!
Official Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Stefan Struve by knockout, Round 1, 4:59