Blagoi Ivanov got the better of Tai Tuivasa tonight at UFC 238, earning himself a unanimous decision victory.
Tuivasa looking to threaten with strikes early. He marauds forward and Tuivasa backs up against the cage and rebounds away from danger without taking much punishment.
Nice jab for Tuivasa. He clinches up and presses Ivanov against the cage. They grapple against the cage here with Tuivasa leaning his weight into Ivanov and landing a couple of short elbows.
Tuivasa tries a spinning backfist that doesn’t connect properly and then backs away.
Back to striking range and Ivanov lands a clubbing right hook and Tuivasa is hurt and staggers to the mat for a moment. Ivanov follows up and works for a guillotine choke, but he gets free from it and presses his opponent up against the cage.
Again Ivanov gets the choke and again Tuivasa pops his head out of it. A brief exchange of punches and then Tuivasa is back clinching against the cage.
They break apart and Tuivasa throws a knee and eats a counter. He wades in again and both men are throwing hard shots here.
Hard straight left for Tuivasa. Big leg kick for Ivanov. One-two for Tuivasa connects hard. They are both starting to slug it out in the center of the cage here with Tuivasa motioning his opponent on, only to then heat a big shot and have to come back trying to get payback as the round ends.
Tuivasa starts working the jab. Hard inside leg kick for him now. Grazing left hook for Ivanov. Body kick for Tuivasa, but gets caught too.
Big blow lands for Tuivasa and Ivanov is the one hurt now. Tuivasa works into the clinch against the cage. He breaks free from it while landing an elbow.
Jab lands for Ivanov. Now a straight. Tuivasa throws back hard though and Ivanov still seems a little unsteady.
Missed leg kick for Tuivasa. Ivanov throwing the jab then punches to the body. Now he moves forward with a short series of straight punches.
One-two lands for Ivanov. Tuivasa with an overhand that misses. Right hook for Tuivasa. Now an inside leg kick. Misses with a punch, lands the kick again.
Elbow strike for Tuivasa. Now a good one in return from Ivanov. Body punch for Ivanov. Leg kick for Tuivasa. Tuivasa throws an elbow again.
Jab lands to the chin from Ivanov. Left hook for Tuivasa. Ivanov opts to clinch up, but Tuivasa drives him to the cage. Ivanov tries for a guillotine choke. Tuivasa goes to his knees and Ivanov continues with the choke, but can’t finish it before the bell sounds. Ivanov held that a little longer than he should have after the bell.
Good left hand for Ivanov. Leg kick for Tuivasa. Powerful inside leg kick again. Once again he goes for that. Left hand connects for Ivanov.
Solid series of punches for Tuivasa and Ivanov certainly felt that and drives into the clinch against the cage.
Ivanov going for the guillotine choke. Tuivasa down on his knees again, but gets free and pops back up. Back to the cage clinch. They jostle for position against the cage.
Short hooks from Ivanov then when he finds some space Tuivasa rattles off punches of his own, causing Ivanov to quickly close the gap again.
Tuivasa reverses the clinch and that prompts Ivanov to go for the guillotine again. Nothing doing with that, but he does land some big knee strikes upstairs instead.
They go back to striking range. Leg kick for Tuivasa. One-two for Ivanov. Hard punch for Tuivasa and then a big left hand for Ivanov. Another inside leg kick for Tuivasa.
The left hand connects again for Ivanov. Inside leg kick for Tuivasa. Grazing left from Ivanov. Leg kick for Tuivasa and a left hook. Short flurry for Ivanov and that’s it, we’re headed to the judges for a decision.
The judges are unanimous in their decision that Ivanov is the winner (29-28, 30-27 x2).