UFC 238 results: Blagoy Ivanov outpoints Tai Tuivasa (highlights)

Blagoy Ivanov
Image: @blagoyivanovmma on Instagram

The UFC 238 main card was kicked off by a dynamite heavyweight tilt between Australian knockout puncher Tai Tuivasa and former World Series of Fighting champion Blagoy Ivanov.

This bout marked Tuivasa’s opportunity to rebound from the first setback of his career, a TKO loss to Junior dos Santos, while the former WSOF champ Ivanov looked to build on the momentum of an impressive if slightly controversial defeat of Ben Rothwell.

Tuivasa came out aggressive, attempting to pin his Bulgarian foe against the chainlink and punish him with elbows in close. Despite the Australian’s advances, however, Ivanov landed the better shots of round round. The former WSOF champ landed repeatedly with his right hand and even dropped his foe with one particularly thunderous punch.

Round two began with Tai Tuivasa rocking Ivanov early, yet the Bulgarian managed to stay in the fight. From there, the two heavyweights traded heavy artillery for the remainder of the round. As the frame wore down, Blagoy Ivanov threatened with a guillotine choke, but the horn sounded before he could coax out the tap.

Round three was grueling affair, as the two heavyweights jockeyed for position in the clinch early. As the round wore on, and the pair returned to the center, Tuivasa began to brutalize Ivanov’s lead legs with kicks. Despite the continued heavy artillery, both big men survived to the final bell.

In the end, despite Tuivasa’s gritty performance, the judges awarded this one to Blagoy Ivanov by unanimous decision.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/7/2019.