A takedown clinic from Serghei Spivac eventually gave way to a slick submission victory over Tai Tuivasa after walking into enemy territory at UFC 243.
Spivac silenced a rowdy Australian crowd by bloodying up Tuivasa with punches on the ground before locking up an arm-triangle choke that put the former rugby player to sleep, with the end coming at 3:14 of the second round.
“After my last loss against [Walt] Harris, I couldn’t find a place for me, for myself,” Spivac explained following his win. “I took my victory and I dedicate my fight to my family.”
While the result went his way, Spivac had a rough start to the fight after eating a leg kick from Tuivasa that dropped him to the ground momentarily. He then countered by grabbing a takedown to slow the pace, but Tuivasa quickly worked his way back up to keep the fight where he wanted it.
Tuivasa head-hunted with punches, continuously allowing Spivac to slip underneath to bring him back down to the mat. Spivac even managed a head and arm throw that brought the heavyweights crashing to the ground.
By the end of the first round, Spivac managed five takedowns, but didn’t do much damage, which allowed Tuivasa to scramble free and return to his feet.
Spivac continued with the same strategy in the second round while Tuivasa seemed to be slowing down with his gas tank starting to run on fumes. After landing his seventh takedown, Spivac moved into the mount, where he began hammering away with punches and opened up a cut. Tuivasa’s face was soon covered with blood.
As the barrage continued, Spivac saw an opening for a choke, and he immediately transitioned to the submission. It took only a few seconds before Tuivasa was laying motionless, which led the referee to quickly stop the fight as Spivac got up to celebrate his victory.
Spivac moves to 10-1 in his career while earning his first victory in the UFC while Tuivasa, once considered a top prospect in the heavyweight division, has now dropped three fights in a row.