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RIP To UFC 1 Legend and 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' Actor Taylor Wily (AKA Teila Tuli)

Rest in peace to MMA fighter/sumo/wrestler/actor Teila Tuli - known to many as Taylor Wily - who passed away at just 56 years old earlier today. 

Teila Tuli was involved in the first bout in UFC history, where he took on a French kickboxer named Gerard Gordeau and unfortunately got knocked out in the opening 15 seconds of the fight....

I feel bad bringing it up here, because it obviously wasn't the best night for Tuli, but this fight being the crazy David vs Goliath matchup it was (where the little guy won so quickly) was a huge factor in getting eyes on the UFC early. Anyone on that first card is kind of a legend in my eyes, because of how insane the original concept was and how far it has come, and unfortunately this is the second competitor in the tournament that night we lost this year....

I wasn't even close to being born yet when UFC 1 went down, so I don't remember the "tape trading" days personally, but plenty of fighters' origin stories involve getting a bootleg VHS of this PPV and falling in love with the barbaric nature of the sport and combination of martial arts styles right away - and Tuli was involved in what was likely the first fight many of them ever saw! 

If you're looking at this guy and wondering where else you know him from, though, it's probably his role as Kemo in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' or his 171 episodes as Kamekona in 'Hawaii Five-0' where he was credited as Taylor Wily….

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"It's like The Sopranos - it's over. Find a new show!"

Wily reinvented himself over and over, going from being a champion sumo wrestler, to pro wrestling in Japan, to fighting an MMA bout, to acting in a wildly successful network television show - and he's described as an absolute sweetheart by the KITV Island News team in Hawaii who knew the man personally….

Rest in peace Taylor Wily.