AMERICA should have known what it was in for when Tai Tuivasa walked out to Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’.
From there, the former NRL star was all showman as he wowed the UFC world in and out of the Octagon with some cheeky antics that left UFC commentator Joe Rogan stunned.
Tuivasa was left bloodied, but dealt out a world of pain to Andrei Arlovski in their brutal heavyweight battle on the main card of UFC 225.
Tuivasa’s face was opened up, but the Aussie recorded more significant strikes than Arlovski — 69-61 — in an incredibly close fight.
All three rounds were close, but all three judges awarded the fight to Tuivasa (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
It was the first time Tuivasa has had to fight beyond the first round, but he impressed with his stamina late into the third round.
Tai Tuivasa controlled the first round against Arlovski — but was still the one left bloodied and bruised at the end of the first round.
The Aussie appeared to wear a shot above his eye when kneeling on top of Alovski.
The Aussie landed plenty of shots himself in a mixed round,and executed two takedowns.
It is the first time Tuivasa has had to fight in the second round in the UFC.
Arlovski appeared to accuse Tuivasa of an eye poke after the first round, but it was waved away by the referee in the Octagon.
Tuivasa’s face was opened up again in the second round when Arlovski landed a dangerous two punch combination that opened a cut across Tuivasa’s nose.
Tuivasa was officially warned for a second alleged eye poke in the second round.
In another mixed round, both fighters had to eat heavy shots heading into the third and final round.
“Tuivasa looks like a mess. They’re both taking punches, but Tuivasa looks worse,” a UFC TV commentator said.
The third round was also a tight contest — but the judges appeared to give the crucial round to the Australian.
The Aussie from western Sydney stole the UFC 225 show with his antics in and out of the Octagon in Chicago.
The shenanigans began when Tuivasa walked out to the Octagon to Celine Dion’s ‘My heart will go on’ — the theme from Titanic.
He kicked it up a notch after his victory.
He dropped two F-bombs in his interview with Joe Rogan and was then knocked back by the popular TV personality when he asked to borrow his shoe to perform a “Shoey” live in the Octagon.
It didn’t matter — Tuivasa borrowed someone else’s shoe and performed two shoeys on his victory walk out of the Octagon.
“I know how you guys are — you guys are crazy,” Rogan said of Tuivasa on UFC TV.
He was the star of the show.
More than a gimmick, however, Tuivasa has improved to 10-0 in MMA and is set for a rise into the top 10 of the UFC’s heavyweight rankings after knocking off No. 9 ranked Arlovski.