Australian UFC fighter Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa scored a big knockout over ex-NFL star Greg Hardy just 67 seconds in to their fight on Sunday (AEST).
Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena was back to full capacity for the fight, delivering a stacked fight card to a star-studded crowd.
Tuivasa’s knockout blow came in the first round of the heavyweight bout on the UFC 264 main card, headlined by Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Hardy connected with a stiff right hand that seemed to have Tuivasa rocked, but Tuivasa managed to keep his composure and create distance between himself and Hardy, allowing him to land a counter left hand and KO his opponent in an exciting fashion.
This was the second straight knockout defeat for Hardy, who later posted to Instagram that he needs to “stop making rookie mistakes”.
Headline drawcard McGregor also ended the night with a loss, with Poirier winning via a doctor’s stoppage at the end of round one after McGregor broke his leg.
This latest victory brings Tuivasa’s record to 13-3, with the last three bouts ending in the first round, but the heavyweight hitter has his sights set higher still.
“I wanna fight someone in the top 10, or top 15,” Tuivasa said before going on to celebrate his victory with a “shoey” – drinking a beer from someone’s shoe – a signature of the Sydneysider’s celebrations.
Tuivasa has always been one to entertain fans, spicing things up as he walked out to the octagon singing along to Wannabe by the Spice Girls and finishing off with his infamous shoey celebrations.
UFC president Dana White said Tuivasa was an all-around entertainer.
“[Tuivasa] is a fun heavyweight. He’s a fun guy to watch, he’s a fun guy in the octagon and outside of the octagon,” White said at the post-fight press conference.
Currently ranked 23, Tuivasa may be granted an opponent in the top 15, however, the Australian didn’t seem bothered with his future opponents at the post-fight press conference.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t even know who’s in the top 10 or top 15,” Tuivasa said. “I fight. You tell me who I’m fighting and a rock up. Simple.”
Tuivasa’s bout earned him a $75,000 performance-of-the-night bonus.