Tai Tuivasa Through the Years

Tai Anthony Tuivasa was born in Sydney, Australia, on March 16, 1993. He was born to a Samoan father and an Indigenous Australian (Wiradjuri) mother.

Tuivasa grew up with 11 siblings in the western Sydney suburb of Mount Druitt. When he was young, he mostly played rugby league.

Tuivasa obtained a contract with the Sydney Roosters rugby league team in 2010, but he stopped playing after he became addicted to gambling.

In his home in Australia, Tuivasa made his professional MMA debut in August 2012. Over the next four years, he competed seldom and won every bout by knockout.

Tuivasa has competed in a few mixed martial arts matches with the Combat 8 promotions. In December 2012 at Combat 8:02, Tuivasa faced off against former Australian rugby league representative John Hopoate at the Newcastle Panthers FC venue. He ended up winning the match via technical knockout.

In a back-and-forth match at Combat 8:03, Tuivasa subsequently faced kickboxer Peter Graham. Tuivasa eventually lost to Graham through TKO in the second round.

It was revealed in November 2016 that Tuivasa inked a four-bout deal with the UFC. In November 2017 at UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura, Tuivasa made his UFC debut against Rashad Coulter.

Tuivasa knocked out his opponent in the first round with a flying knee, thus becoming the first indigenous Australian to win in a UFC match. He also received the Performance of the Night bonus for this victory.

Tuivasa debuted in the UFC’s official rankings for heavyweight competitors in February 2018, debuting at number 15. In June 2018 at UFC 225, Tuivasa took on Andrei Arlovski. He ended up winning the match via unanimous decision victory.

Tuivasa competed against Sergey Spivak in October 2019 at UFC 243. In the second round, he lost the bout via an arm-triangle choke.

At UFC 254, Tuivasa competed against Stefan Struve in October 2020. Tuivasa ended up knocking out his opponent in the first round.

Tuivasa took on Greg Hardy in July 2021 at UFC 264. In round one, he became the winner via knockout. With this victory, he was given the Performance of the Night bonus.

At UFC 271, Tai Tuivasa competed against Derrick Lewis in February 2022. Tuivasa ended up knocking out his opponent in the second round. With this win, he received a Performance of the Night bonus.

At UFC Fight Night 209 in September 2022, Tuivasa competed against Ciryl Gane. Tuivasa was knocked down in the second round, and was ultimately defeated by knockout in the third. He won the Fight of the Night prize for this match.

Tai Tuivasa faces off against Ciryl Gane

Tai Tuivasa with Cain Velasquez

Tai Tuivasa with Alexander Volkanovski

At UFC on ESPN 42 in December 2022, Tuivasa took on Sergei Pavlovich. He ended up losing the match in the first round via knockout.

Tai Tuivasa and Sergei Pavlovich

Tuivasa will be competing against Alexander Volkov at UFC 293 on September 10, 2023.

Tai Tuivasa with Robert Whittaker

Tai Tuivasa with Alexander Volknovski

Tai Tuivasa has a son named Carter Tuivasa with Brierley Pedro. She is the sister of UFC light heavyweight competitor Tyson Pedro.

Tai Tuivasa with his son Carter Tuivasa


With Tyson Pedro and Andrew Fifita as co-hosts, Tuivasa runs the “The Halfcast Podcast”.

Tai Tuivasa with Tyson Pedro

Since 2018, Tuivasa has performed a shoey- consuming beer from a borrowed shoe, to mark his victories. ‘Shoeyvasa’ is a term that was created by the Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph.