Tai Tuivasa is a big first-round threat to Gane, says Sonnen


Tai Tuivasa has some tactical advantage in the first round of his fight with Ciryl Gane, says Chael Sonnen.

In a recent episode of his Beyond the fight podcast, Sonnen broke down the machinations of the upcoming UFC Fight Night Paris main event bout as Tuivasa and Gane battled it out for victory on Sept. 3. Many in the combat sports community consider Ciryl Gane to be the most versatile technical fighter in terms of striking and submissions, while Tai Tuivasa is considered the brick-fisted brawler.

Speaking about the growing star power of “Bam Bam” and what a win this weekend could do for that continued progression, Sonnen said:

“Coming down and picking up a win over Ciryl Gane, the sky’s the limit for [Tai] Tuivasa. You do what you want with him… I share with you a victory over the former champion who just did 25 minutes with ‘The Predator’ [Francis Ngnanou], we have a whole other conversation. When you have a guy who is going to go fight with dogs.”

Sonnen continued:

“The first round is about who’s the best. You talk about who’s the best and I say Tuivasa isn’t very good? That’s right, for five minutes you’re in the tough guy business. Tuivasa is a tough guy. So it’s one of those spots where the heavyweights change very quickly.”

Watch the video below:

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Tai Tuivasa and his story of first-round finishes

Tai Tuivasa tends to do it in the first round of the fight, giving credence to Chael Sonnen’s comments on the first five minutes for the “Bam Bam”. As Tuivasa cut his teeth on the Australian mixed martial arts circuit, he went 6-0 with all wins coming in the first round of that streak.

“Bam Bam” made his UFC debut in November 2017 with a first-round finish against Rashad Coulter, a fight that ended in a flying knee. Tuivasa’s second UFC victory was against Cyril Asker at UFC 221 in February 2018. That fight also ended in a knockout within two minutes of the first round.

Tai Tuivasa also stopped Stefan Struve by knockout with just a second remaining in the opening stanza of their UFC 254 clash in October 2020.

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Harry Hunsucker fell to Tuivasa in 49 seconds in their UFC Fight Night fight. He also stopped Greg Hardy in 67 seconds at UFC 264.

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