On the rise: Justin Tafa
On the rise is MMA Latest’s series of articles which takes a look at fighters with 5 fights or less who are major prospects and have the potential to go far in the sport. Be it in the UFC, Bellator, ONE Championship, KSW or any other major promotion, this does not focus in on one specific promotion as an end goal and looks at fighters across the globe.
For the first segment of our series, we’re looking at Justin Tafa (2-0). The Australian heavyweight fighter is a serious prospect and could be signed to a major promotion very soon. His next fight is up against David Taumoepeau at XFC 41 on the 24th of May. Tafa is the current champion and will be defending the belt for the first time at XFC 41.
Tafa is also the brother of renowned Glory heavyweight kickboxer Junior Tafa, who has found some success in the leading kickboxing organisation so far. Justin Tafa is currently showing his own striking capabilities in MMA, knocking both of his opponents out so far. Most recently in his title challenge, he knocked out then-champion Jeremy Joiner in less than 30 seconds. Prior to that, his debut was another TKO victory over Dylan Tiaaleaiga which didn’t make it past the second round.
This upcoming fight will be another test for Tafa, who has fought the more experienced opponents of the two. Considering how thin the Heavyweight division of most organisations is it would be a surprise to see him get signed to a major promotion soon. Tafa trains with his brother, Tai Tuivasa and Mark Hunt too so he is surrounded in elite heavyweight fighters. This paired with his striking background and ability to finish opponents will certainly make have him on the radar of many promotions.
I don’t think it will be long until a major organisation comes calling. Considering the UFC have such a heavy presence in Australia compared to the rest it would not be a surprise to see him added to a card over there sometime in the future or even on a DWTNCS show.