Tai Tuivasa’s return to the octagon will have to wait.
Scheduled to face Augusto Sakai (15-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 198 on Nov. 20, Tuivasa was forced to withdraw due to visa issues and as a result, the bout is off the UFC Apex card in Las Vegas.
Tuivasa (12-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) confirmed the news on Instagram after an initial report from New Zealand Herald.
“My peoples I’m sorry too announce but my fight next week I won’t be able to attend due to visa issues and other fings but me and my team is getting on top of it and we should be back in the new year ready to bang. ESSSSHHHAAAAY 🤗🤗 Love you all and much love too the @ufc we make it happen Nek year ☺️ sorry @augustosakai for the mess around was totally out of my control we get at it Nek year. ☺️🙏🏽 #bambam #FTA #westernsydney #totheworld #drinkwest”
Tuivasa did not specify what the other things were, but in a recent interview with MMA Junkie, the fan-favorite heavyweight was asked if the U.S. vaccine mandate was going to have an affect on his fight and Tuivasa said he wouldn’t let it jeopardize his bout.
Winner of three in a row, Tuivasa is coming off a first-round “Performance of the Night” knockout of Greg Hardy at UFC 264 in July. The 28-year-old Aussie then was booked to face Walt Harris in October, but after Harris was forced out, he drew No. 10-ranked heavyweight Sakai, which now also has been scrapped.