Tai Tuivasa just did enough to edge out Andrei Arlovski tonight at UFC 225 in Chicago, earning himself a unanimous decision verdict.
Tuivasa throwing some heavy leather at close range to start the fight. He tries for a kick and loses his balance momentarily.
Grazed punch lands for Arlovski. Leg kick by him. Another lands. Arlovski steps into a nice jab. Tuivasa goes for the clinch and then drives for the takedown, landing straight in full mount. Bad news for Arlovski with over half the round remaining.
Arlovski ties up Tuivasa’s arms in the hopes of getting a stand-up. Tuivasa struggling to break free. Arlovski tries to sweep and then uses the space to stand up. Tuivasa has a big cut to the face from an earlier blow now though.
Tuivasa lands a punch and drops Arlovski. He’s back up though and into the clinch.
Back to striking range. Tuivasa land a one-two. Arlovski clinching. Tuivasa comes back with strikes. He lands a knee upstairs. Arlovski connects with a right hand.
Head kick attempt from Tuivasa, but he slips to the mat as he lands it. Back up he gets and the two look to land more offense as the round ends.
Arlovski with a double jab to start. He throws out a front kick. They exchange in close and Tuivasa land a couple of punches. Both men slug again and Arlovski is landing too.
Dangerous exchanges here as they throw hard punches. Tuivasa bleeding from the nose. He works to the clinch against the cage.
Back to striking range. Arlovski lands a punch. Now a head kick attempt. Tuivasa connects. Nice little flurry from Tuivasa. Arlovski tries a spinning backfist and then front kicks.
Tuivasa forces Arlovski to step back with his offense. Arlovski clinching and works a takedown, but Tuivasa is immediately back up.
Kick for Tuivasa and then lands an inadvertent eye-poke, though it seems questionable from the replay.
nevertheless, after a brief stoppage he’s ok to continue. Right hand for Arlovski and a hook on the counter from Tuivasa.
Spinning backfist misses for Arlovski and Tuivasa returns fire with punches in the final seconds of the round.
Leg kick for Tuivasa. He lands a right hook. Overhand misses from Arlovski. Low leg kick for Arlovski. Head kick attempt but it’s blocked by Tiuvasa.
left hand for Arlovski. Nice right hand for Tuivasa as the trade in close. Tuivasa goes to the body and then upstairs.
Nice left elbow for Tuivasa. Head kick attempt misses for Arlovski. Right hand for Arlovski and gets a hook in return.
Tuivasa backs Arlovski to the cage and lands a few solid shots, particularly a right hand. Tuivasa connects again. Better work from him.
Straight punches down the pipe from Arlovski. Final minute of the round. Jab gets in for Arlovski. Spinning backfist misses.
Leg kick for Tuivasa. Right hand gets through for Tuivasa. Now a left hook. One-two for the Aussie.
It was a closely fought fight from start to finish and there’s not much to choose between the two, but Tai Tuivasa is deemed to have done enough to win by unanimous decision (29-28 x3).