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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Tai Tuivasa after knockout loss at UFC Paris?

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Gane vs Tuivasa Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

UFC Paris went down this past weekend (Sat., Sept. 3, 2022) inside Accor Arena in Paris, France, leaving plenty of fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Marvin Vettori, who was out-classed by Robert Whittaker for 15 minutes. And Alessio Di Chirico, who was knocked out by Roman Kopylov (see it again here).

But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Tai Tuivasa.

Coming into his headlining bout against fomer UFC interim Heavyweight champion, Ciryl Gane, “Bam Bam” was on quite a roll having won five straight fights via knockout (KO), three in the opening round. Another such performance would have almost certainly solidifed his spot as the next contender for the 265-pound title.

As expected, the fight played out on the feet with Gane using his excellent footwork and kicking attack to keep Tuivasa at bay, all while peppering his midsection anytime he wanted. And “Bam Bam” was feeling those shots, wincing in pain every time “Bon Gamin” connected.

But in round two, Tuivasa had a glimmer of hope after he tagged the big Frenchman and dropped him with a solid shot. While it seemed as if Gane was about to be down for the count, he managed to get up right away to prevent a stoppage loss. Afterward, Gane did admit he was out for a second.

In round three, however, Gane once again went to the well, blasting away at Tuivasa’s midsection, which ultimately set him up to deliver a crushing blow that dropped the big man to the canvas, which was proceeded by a few follow up shots to put an end to the fight, thus robbing us of another “shoey” celebration.

“It wasn’t my day, but I did come to fight, so good on you brother,” said Tuivasa in his post-fight speech, which he delivered after Gane allowed him to take some of his air time to address the fans, which showed just how great of a sportsman “Bon Gamin” is.

In defeat, Tuivasa’s stock doesn’t take a hit because he gave the former champion all he could handle before suffering the second knockout loss of his career, which I don’t believe will cost him his No. 3 spot in the official UFC rankings.

As far as what could be next for “Bam Bam," perhaps a fight against Alexander Volkov is in order. Granted, Volkov is coming off a win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik a couple of months ago while Tuivasa is fresh off defeat, but “Bam Bam” is ranked five spots ahead of “Drago,” so it’s a fight, I’m sure, the Russian big man wouldn’t turn down.

A win over Tuivasa would shoot Volkov up the Heavyweight ladder and get him closer to the Top 5, while “Bam Bam” could expedite putting the knockout loss behind him should he return to his head hunting, knockout scoring ways against a formidable foe.

For complete UFC Paris: “Gane vs. Tuivasa” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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