It looks like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is holding onto two of its biggest Australian prospects.
According to a recent report by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, UFC has re-signed heavyweight Tai Tuivasa and light heavyweight Tyson Pedro to exclusive six-fight deals. The contractual agreements signify that the promotion views both fighters as major pieces in the growing Australian market.
Both Tai Tuivasa & Tyson Pedro have signed new 6-fight contracts with UFC, per sources. Tuivasa is hoping to finalize his spot in the main event of the 11/24 Beijing card. JDS (not likely) or Tybura (maybe) have been discussed as opponents. Nothing done. Pedro's return is TBD.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 9, 2018
I guess Mark Hunt can’t lead the way forever.
Tuivasa, 25, is one of the most exciting prospects to enter the UFC’s heavyweight division in a long time. When he isn’t chugging beer from his shoe, “Bam Bam” can been seen slinging heavy leather inside of the Octagon. Coming off a unanimous decision win over former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski this past June at UFC 225, Tuivasa will enter his new six-fight deal with an undefeated professional record of 8-0 (3-0 UFC). He currently has no fight scheduled, but as Helwani reports, the young knockout artist is hoping to headline an event in Beijing this November.
Pedro, 26, hasn’t been as successful as Tuivasa inside of the Octagon, but he still adds depth to a fairly weak 205-pound division. While Pedro is coming off a submission loss to former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Ovince Saint Preux, the rangy Australian has shown glimpses of being a future contender. Pedro will enter his new UFC contract with a 3-2 promotional record, having finished all three of his victories in the first round. He currently has no fight scheduled.
Given their talent and youth, this was a fairly easy decision for UFC. Now it all comes down to how they use Tuivasa and Pedro as the two Australian prospects evolve into more complete fighters.
What say you, Maniacs? Were these significant signings?