Junior dos Santos TKO’s Tai Tuivasa, ‘Shogun’ Rua Comes Back to Finish Tyson Pedro
Junior dos Santos played spoiler in front of a partisan Australian audience with a second round TKO to finish home country favorite Tai Tuivada in the main event at UFC Fight Night in Adelaide.
The former heavyweight champion definitely had a battle on his hands as Tuivada was on the hunt for the finish from the very start of the fight.
Tuivasa continuously plowed forward with punches, swinging with a knockout in mind behind every shot. Towards the end of the opening round it was a leg kick that Tuivada launched at dos Santos that dropped the Brazilian to a knee momentarily before he stood back up to defend himself.
When the horn sounded it appeared Tuivasa was surging while dos Santos was surviving.
The momentum shifted in a huge way in the second round, however, with Tuivasa once again on the attack but dos Santos began measuring his counter strikes to return fire.
That relentless offense eventually backfired on Tuivasa as he kept coming forward and dos Santos began landing with some stinging punches of his own. Dos Santos cracked Tuivasa with one right hand that snapped the Aussie’s head around.
A moment later, dos Santos connected with one more right hand that clipped Tuivada on the chin and sent him crashing to the canvas.
From there it was all dos Santos as he worked his way into mount and then started raining down a barrage of punches from the top. Tuivasa valiantly tried to fight back but as the punishment continued, he was just eating too many shots for the referee to allow the fight to continue.
The end came at 2:30 into the second round with dos Santos winning by TKO.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 2, 2018
Afterwards, dos Santos paid credit to Tuivasa’s toughness and then turned his attention to a rematch he’d like to get for his next fight.
“I knew he was tough but not that tough. Thank god, I got that victory,” dos Santos said after the win. “I think a rematch with Alistair Overeem would be very good right now.”
SHOGUN SURVIVES AND THEN EARNS TKO
In the co-main event, former champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua had to survive an onslaught from Tyson Pedro in the opening round to comeback and earn a finish in the third round.
Pedro was pouring on the offense early and he blasted ‘Shogun’ with some heavy shots in the opening round and it appeared that the Brazilian legend might get finished.
Instead, ‘Shogun’ absorbed the shots and then started to build momentum in the second round with some solid work on the ground.
Finally, Rua unleashed his best strikes of the night in the third round when he tagged Pedro and he went crashing down to the canvas. While it appeared that Pedro may have suffered some kind of leg injury, he definitely caught a hard shot from ‘Shogun’, who then followed him to the mat to dish out more punishment.
‘Shogun’ eventually earned the finish as he gets back in the win column while showing tremendous heart to get the job done against Pedro.
MARK HUNT’S FORGETTABLE FINAL UFC FIGHT
Mark Hunt finished out the final fight on his UFC contract — in what will likely be his last fight inside the Octagon — and it was a largely forgettable affair.
Hunt lost a three round decision to Justin Willis in a lackluster outing for both fighters. Hunt spent the majority of 15 minutes walking Willis around the cage without ever really offering much offense. In return, Willis constantly popped Hunt with his lead jab but never over exposing himself to the potential counter shots.
When it was over, Willis earned the unanimous decision win and Hunt said goodbye to the UFC but still plans on fighting again elsewhere.
Here are the full results for UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Tuivasa.
MAIN EVENT: Junior dos Santos def. Tai Tuivasa by TKO (strikes) at 2:30, R2
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua def. Tyson Pedro by TKO (strikes) at :43 seconds, R3
Justin Willis def. Mark Hunt by unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)
Anthony Rocco Martin def. Jake Matthews by submission (anaconda choke) at 1:19, R3
Sodiq Yusuff def. Suman Mokhtarian by TKO (strikes) at 2:14, R1
Jim Crute def. Paul Craig by submission (kimura) at 4:51, R3
Alexey Kunchenko def. Yushin Okami by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Wilson Reis def. Ben Nguyen by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)
Keita Nakamura def. Salim Touahri by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Kai Kara-France def. Elias Garcia by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Christos Giagos def. Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-28)
Damir Ismagulov def. Alex Gorgees by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-26)