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03 Jun 2019 by Ewan Lavender

MMA Preview – Tai Tuivasa vs Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 238

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THE FACTS

When is UFC 238? Sunday 9th June, 2019 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 238? United Center, Chicago, Illinois

What channel is UFC 238? BT Sport 1

Where can I stream UFC 238? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live and you can take advantage of a free trial with ESPN+ and subscribe now by clicking here!

Are tickets still available for UFC 238? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets

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THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

Two slabs of heavyweight beef kick-off the main card for UFC 238 as fan-favourite Tai Tuivasa looks to bounce back from the first loss of his career as he takes on the Bulgarian Blagoy Ivanov.

Tuivasa was gutted to not enjoy a ‘shoey’ at UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide as he suffered his first loss to Junior dos Santos. It was a fierce battle and, as expected, both men were constantly inches away from a knockout. The Brazilian displayed his class on the night to finish ‘Bam Bam’ in the second round which has Tuivasa forced back to the drawing board.

He takes on Ivanov who is not a devastating striker like Dos Santos but is one of the most durable heavyweights around. Dos Santos could not put him away over five rounds but lost the decision for the second defeat of his career. He bounced back with a win over Ben Rothwell but the decision could have gone either way and now he takes on another bruiser.

THE PREDICTION

Ivanov is a dangerous striker but needs to call upon his grappling skills. The Bulgarian is a black belt in judo and successfully represented his country in the World Sambo Championships.

There is a huge gulf in class when it comes to grappling but there is also a clear advantage for Tuivasa when it comes to striking. Not so much technically, but the Aussie possesses ferocious power and deceptive athleticism. He will no doubt hunt the knockout but Ivanov has never been knocked out in his career.

If Ivanov can survive the first round and sap the energy out of Tuivasa with his grappling he can cruise to a decision. Tuivasa is so dangerous and could easily hand Ivanov his first knockout loss but if he can avoid the power, he will exploit the Aussie’s weakness.

Winner: Ivanov via Decision

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric

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