Tai Tuivasa’s Time at the Top is Likely Over

March 18, 2024
2 months

Marcin Tybura had to reach up to his forehand and smear the blood to prevent it from running down into his eyes. But aside from a slicing elbow early in the fight, Tybura didn’t need to sweat much against Tai Tuivasa. Tybura was able to lock up a takedown midway through the first round.

Tuivasa wasn’t able to defend himself from Tybura’s ground and pound. Eventually, Tybura was able to sink in a rear-naked choke and put Tuivasa out cold with 52 seconds left in the first round. It has been a rough 18 months for Tuivasa.

Tuivasa scored a knockdown against future interim champion Cyril Gane in September 2022 but would lose after a third-round knockout. That halted a five-fight winning streak for Tuivasa. Things got worse for the personable Australian from there.

Tuivasa has now lost four straight, all by finish. He was submitted in his last two fights. This is a gut-check moment in the career of the 31-year-old heavyweight. While Tuivasa is a fan favorite, he must pick up a few wins or risk being cut.

For Tybura, this was an inspiring turnaround. In his last fight, Tybura had taken a difficult loss to now-interim champion Tom Aspinall. Aspinall ran through Tybura, finishing him with elbow strikes and punches just 73 seconds after the fight started.

Battle Misses Opportunity for Big Win

Bryan Battle was fuming following his fight with Ange Loosa. While Battle raked Loosa’s eye with an incidental eye poke that forced a stoppage, he was adamant that Loosa was looking for a way out. Battle yelled at Loosa after the final decision was read.

Loosa took exception and started yelling back at Loosa. The two men had to be separated before either threw a punch again. Battle had dominated the fight to the point when the fight was stopped one minute into the second round.

During the post-fight interview, Battle said Loosa was looking for a way out. He was willing to retake the fight whenever or wherever it was rescheduled. 

OSP Shows Age is Just a Number

Ovince Saint Preux’s days as a light heavyweight title contender are long behind him. But anyone who thinks he has nothing left is mistaken about his ability. MMA news sites that OSP was locked in a battle with dangerous striker Kennedy Nzechukwu.

While it looked like both men feared the other’s power, things heated up in the third round. Both men landed wild combinations. Ultimately, the judges decided that OSP had earned a split-decision victory. OSP, a 40-year-old, Florida-born fighter, fought Jon Jones in an unsuccessful attempt to win the light heavyweight championship.

OSP had lost three of his past four fights before taking on Nzechukwu.

C-Rod Needed All 15 Minutes

Christian Rodriguez got bullied in the first round of his featherweight fight with Isaac Dulgarian. Dulgarian used his superior wrestling and striking to pick up a deserved 10-8 first round on all three judges’ scorecards. But Dulgarian may have misused his energy.

By the time the third round came along, Dulgarian had no energy left. Visibly tired, Dulgarian couldn’t finish his takedowns because he didn’t have enough energy left. Rodriguez capitalized and was able to brutalize Dulgarian in the third round.

Due to his volume and ferocity, he picked up a 10-8 round himself and did enough in the second round to earn a split decision win, according to the two judges’ scorecards. Rodriguez has now won four straight fights and defeated three undefeated fighters.

Chiasson’s Return to Bantamweight Makes a Difference

MMAfighting latest updates show Macy Chiasson was able to make the scale work for her during a return to bantamweight. More importantly, Chiasson made sure her grappling was still on point as well. Chiasson picked up the third first-round finish of her career against Pannie Kianzad.

Chiasson secured a rear-naked choke almost four minutes into the fight. Kianzad has been vulnerable to strong grappling during her career. Three of her eight losses have come by submission.

Meerschaert Does What He Does Best

Gerald Meerschaert is vulnerable to losing fights via finish. But the veteran UFC fighter is also dangerous enough to stop any of his opponents. Meerschaert was able to take advantage of Bryan Barberena’s limited grappling.

In the second round, Meerschaert was able to catch Barberena off balance and secure a submission via neck crank. Meerschaert has won 28 of his 36 MMA fight victories by submission.

Davis Earns Notable Victory

Natan Levy had been hurt in a few fights during his MMA career. However, no other combatant had figured out a way to stop him before. But Mike Davis was able to do just that. Davis overwhelmed Levy in his fight with superior striking. 

During the second round, Davis was able to wrap up Levy and secure a submission. The best MMA news sites show it was Davis’ first submission win in the UFC. Levy has never been knocked out but now has a submission loss on his record.

Chandler Grabs Second UFC Victory

Chelsea Chandler and Josiane Nunes put on a high-volume, brutal fight. It was an expected strong effort from both women. Chandler used her wrestling to help counter Nunes’ power striking and pick up a unanimous decision. This dropped Nunes’ record to 10-2, her first UFC loss.

This was Chandler’s second UFC win.

Here’s a look at the other fights on the card not mentioned above:

  • Flyweight, Jafel Filho win by submission over Ode’ Osbourne, Round 1, 4:27
  • Catchweight (146.5), Danny Silva win by split decision Joshua Culibao, 29-28 (x2) Silva, Culibao
  • Women’s strawweight, Jaqueline Amorim win by submission over Cory McKenna, Round 1, 1:38 
  • Lightweight, Thiago Moisés win by TKO (leg kicks) Mitch Ramirez, Round 3, :15
  • Bantamweight, Chad Anheliger win by decision over Charalampos Grigoriou, 30-27, 29-28 (x2)

Find all the latest boxing news and MMA breaking updates on boxingnews.com.

By Dean McHugh.