Tai Tuivasa gave Derrick Lewis a taste of his own medicine at UFC 271. Tuivasa absorbed hammers in the first two rounds before turning the tables and face-planting Lewis (who holds the all-time knockout record at 13 KOs) with a nasty elbow in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas.
Lewis brilliantly scored two rare takedowns in the fight. “The Black Beast” used the takedowns to unleash thumping ground-and-pound that had Tuivasa supporters concerned. Lewis staggered his opponent in the second round, chasing Tuivasa in search of a fight-ending sequence. It was in that chaos that Tuivasa found his moments, wobbling his opponent with big power. Tuivasa then doubled down on his offense as he saw Lewis was hurt and stepped in with an asteroid of an elbow that folded over Lewis.
Tuivasa celebrated as expected, indulging in a beloved ritual perfectly suited for the fight game. The Australian fighter slurped back a beer from inside of a shoe, fondly known as a “shoey.”
Tuivasa (14-3) has undergone a major metamorphosis. Between 2018 and 2019, “Bam Bam” lost three consecutive fights to Junior dos Santos, Blagoy Ivanov and Sergey Spivak. He now boasts five-straight stoppages in the first two rounds after beating Lewis, Augusto Sakai, Greg Hardy, Harry Hunsucker and Stefan Struve.
Lewis (26-9, 1 NC) has alternated wins and losses in his last four fights: knocking out Curtis Blaydes and Kyle Daukaus, and getting finished by Ciryl Gane and Tuivasa.