Sport: Tai Tuivasa thinks Greg Hardy KO proves he's maturing: 'Old me would've thrown some bombs'

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LAS VEGAS – Tai Tuivasa thinks he’s come a long way since he joined the UFC.

a man talking on a cell phone screen with text: Tai Tuivasa © File photo Tai Tuivasa

The 28-year-old heavyweight said his latest victory proved he’s maturing in his MMA game. Tuivasa (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) knocked out former NFL star Greg Hardy on the main card of Saturday’s UFC 264 pay-per-view.

It was a short comeback win for the Australian. He got rocked by Hardy early in the fight. Hardy immediately rushed Tuivasa to capitalize on his wobbling shot and in the process was countered by a big right hand that sent him crashing down to the canvas.

“I was rocked,” Tuivasa told reporters at the UFC 264 post-fight news conference. “He touched me, and yeah, I felt it and I knew to take a couple of steps back. I think the old me would’ve thrown some bombs, but I feel like I’m maturing in this game. I had to step back and I caught him on the way in.”

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Tuivasa is picking up momentum once again in his career. “Bam Bam,” who had a 3-0 start in the UFC, is bouncing back nicely from a three-fight skid. He’s stringed three consecutive wins after his finish at UFC 264.


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a man standing on a stage

“You’ve seen me – I’ve been on a three-fight winning streak, three-fight losing streak, and now I’m back on a three-fight winning streak,” Tuivasa said. “I think I’m maturing. I feel like I’m getting better and I’m actually loving what I’m doing, and I think it’s showing in the cage.”

As far as what’s next, Tuivasa isn’t 100 percent sure. Now outside of the UFC’s official rankings, he said he would like to test himself against ranked opposition.

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“To be honest, I wouldn’t even know the top 10 or the top 15,” Tuivasa said. “It sounds good – one of them, any of them. I fight. You tell me who I’m fighting and I walk up.”

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