Teila Tuli, who competed in the first UFC event in 1993, has died in Hawaii at the age of 56, according to KITV.

Tuli, who competed as a sumo fighter, was recruited for the first UFC event in November 1993 and fought as “Teila Tuli”.

In the memorable spectacle, Gerard Gordeau defeated Tuli with a head kick after Tuli lost three teeth and two became lodged in Gordeau's foot. After 26 seconds, referee Joao Alberto Barreto stopped the fight. Goredeau broke his hand in the fight and fought twice more that night against Kevin Rosier and Royce Gracie.

In his book, Is This Legal?, Art Davie stated that Tuli wanted $10,000 to fight on the card, and they agreed to pay him $6,000 and fly his brother and two cousins ​​to Denver for the show. They agreed. Tuli earned another $1,000 for the fight and was one of two fighters on the card, along with Art Jimmerson, who received a guarantee up front.

Davie also described a chaotic scene at the fighters' meeting, where attendees had questions and concerns, including the conflict that Rorian Gracie was one of the organizers while his younger brother was also competing.

Then Teila Tuli stood up in a most dramatic and theatrical gesture and announced, “I just signed my paper. I don't know about you, but I came here to celebrate. If anyone else came to celebrate, I'll see you tomorrow night at the arena.” Then he slammed his signed paper on the table. The sound echoed throughout the room.

The tension in the room had completely disappeared and the arguing and discussion had come to an end.

I came to the conclusion that I almost messed this all up by letting Rorian take the lead. My own fault. If it hadn't been for Teila Tuli, the Ultimate Fighting Championship would probably have been derailed on the eve of the event.

For Tuli, it was a one-time deal; he never fought again and ventured to Hollywood under the name “Taylor Wily,” where he became an actor, appearing in “Hawaii Five-O” and “Magnum PI,” and had a memorable role in the 2008 film “Forget About Your Ex.”

Before joining the UFC, he competed as a sumo fighter under the name “Takamikuni” from 1987 and was part of the same stable as Akebono (Chad Rowan) until his retirement in 1989.

TMZ noted that he leaves behind his wife Halona and two children.

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