UFC heavyweight contender Tai Tuivasa fought at the same event as rising bantamweight star Sean O’Malley twice in 2021, a trend he hopes continues this year.
Like O’Malley, Tuivasa has been in fine form as of late. He’s built a destructive four-fight win streak that has seen him climb to within one spot of the top 10 at heavyweight.
Since a submission loss to Sergey Spivak in 2019 added a third straight loss to his skid, “Bam Bam” has knocked out Stefan Struve, Harry Hunsucker, Greg Hardy, and Augusto Sakai.
His latest victory took place at UFC 269 last month. With another brutal finish, Tuivasa sent Sakai’s unconscious body to the canvas, before mounting the cage for one of his patented shoeys.
Tuivasa Appreciates The Presence Of O’Malley
Tuivasa’s other 2021 win, a first-round KO against Greg Hardy at UFC 264, provided another memorable moment inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, with members of the crowd pouring their beers into their shoes and either chugging it themselves, or giving it to a victorious Tuivasa as he made his way to the back.
As well as two knockouts and two Octagon shoeys, another constant for Tuivasa’s 2021 was the presence of fellow entertainer Sean O’Malley. Like the Australian heavyweight, “Sugar” recorded triumphs at both UFC 264 and UFC 269.
Discussing O’Malley’s recent comments, in which he suggested Tuivasa is the only fighter universally loved by the UFC fanbase, “Bam Bam” said it’s great to share cards with a fellow “showman” like O’Malley.
“Yeah, me and Sean, we talk, and it’s good that we’ve been fighting on the same card the last few times,” Tuivasa told Ariel Helwani on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “Like I say, he’s a showman as well, so it’s good we’re on the same card. We give the fans what they want.”
Tuivasa and O’Malley also took home 1/3 of the Performance of the Night bonuses for UFC 269. While “Bam Bam” collected a handsome extra $50,000 for his finish of Sakai, “Sugar” left the arena with his third successive bonus check in the bag for his KO of Raulian Paiva.
With their performances last year, both men achieved an impressive 100% bonus record. Out of their five combined appearances, The UFC dished out an additional $250,000. They’ll be hoping for similar success in 2022, and if they believe in lucky charms, both men will be pushing to be on the same card given their results in 2021.
Unless O’Malley is booked swiftly, Tuivasa will be making his first 2022 appearance on a card that will not feature “The Suga Show.” That is because, as of yesterday, it was revealed that Tuivasa will be facing another showman, Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis at UFC 271 next month.
Would you like to see Sean O’Malley and Tai Tuivasa fighting on the same card again this year?