Tai Tuivasa vs. Don'Tale Mayes
Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 10:00 PM (UFC APEX)
The Line: Don'Tale Mayes +171 / Tai Tuivasa -201 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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Tai Tuivasa and Don'Tale Mayes fight Saturday in UFC Vegas 22 at the UFC APEX.
Tai Tuivasa enters this fight with a 10-3 record and has won 90 percent of his fights by knockout. Tuivasa has split his last six fights, and he’s coming off an October win over Stefan Struve. Tuivasa is averaging 4.20 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Tuivasa is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Tuivasa is coming off a first round knockout at UFC 254 where he landed 48 total strikes and 64 percent of his significant strikes. Tuivasa now looks for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2018. Tuivasa is quite an athlete for a guy his size, and he’s a very powerful striker with heavy hands and violent elbows. Tuivasa throws in a leg kick every now and then, but he closes the distance well and is effective in the clinch as well. Tuivasa has produced knockouts in nine of his 10 career wins and most of those knockouts have come via punches. It’s clear what Tuivasa wants to do in the octagon. This will be Tuivasa’s first career fight in Las Vegas.
Don'Tale Mayes enters this fight with a 8-4 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Mayes has won five of his last seven fights, and he’s coming off a November win over Roque Martinez. Mayes is averaging 4.13 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Mayes is averaging 0.23 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 20 percent. Mayes is coming off a decision win at UFC Vegas 14 where he landed 80 total strikes, 43 percent of his significant strikes and had one takedown. Mayes is 3-0 in career decisions and is 3-3 under the UFC banner. Mayes is a lengthy fighter at 6’6” with an 81-inch reach and comes from a background in judo. There’s not a ton of film available on Mayes, be he does have four career knockouts and seems to be most comfortable in the clinch where he can control his opponent and go to work. Mayes does have to improve his ground game, and two of his four career losses have been submissions. This will be Mayes’ fifth career fight in Las Vegas.
Mayes has the power and the reach that gives him a chance in this bout, but it’s fair to say Tuivasa is the more polished fighter at this stage and has the cleaner, more accurate strikes. Tuivasa will have to go through some shots and he’s giving up a six inch read advantage, but he should be able to get the job done once he gets his timing down.
I like Tuivasa to win this fight, and I’ll take him by knockout to produce a better payout.