Tai Tuivasa “ready to bleed” ahead of UFC 264
Or almost all of them. Because Tai Tuivasa fights on West Sydney’s Mount Druitt, the playful and charismatic heavyweight whose demeanor and approach is a welcome relief in today’s landscape. Known for his hilarious honesty and infectious smile, Tuivasa is as entertaining outside the Octagon almost as much as he is, where he amassed an impressive 12-3-0 record since his UFC debut ago. almost five years. You won’t find Tuivasa avoiding a problem or doing the cameras any good; authenticity, with a devastating punch, is its hallmark.
We’re catching up with the 28-year-old days before he leaves for Vegas where he will face American Greg Hardy on the Poirier vs McGregor undercard. Restrictions had just been announced, plunging Tuivasa’s final preparation into possible uncertainty. But while most athletes might worry about the impact of a staggered training schedule, Tuivasa has it all in hand.
“Nothing has really changed,” he says. “I just lost access to a gym, so we are training in my underground parking lot. I am from the streets so I can train anywhere. That does not bother me.
Fair enough. And after the fight? Surely the plan is to stay in Vegas and avoid the restrictions that pile up at home?
“I didn’t really make a plan to be honest,” he says Men’s health. “I will definitely be staying a few more days and participating in a few poolside parties. It’s summer there, so I won’t be rushing home for the old quarantine, that’s for sure.
“Vegas’ body is ready,” he adds. “It’s about – well, as good as Bam Bam is going to be anyway!”
You’d be forgiven for assuming the battle plan itself was a bit more meticulous. But again, Tuivasa is not like most athletes.
“There isn’t really any science in there,” he said simply. “The plan is to come in and hit and go hard. He wants to entertain, I want to entertain and this is my way of entertaining. I’m ready to bleed.
“One of us is being eliminated and I don’t think it will be me.”
Given his habit of making bold predictions, we ask who is going his money for the high-profile fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
“I actually watched their last one,” he says. “I was in Abu Dhabi so I got to watch him. Poirier won the last one, so let’s go McGregor. Isn’t that how it’s going to be? 1-1 so they’ll have a third to decide?
It’s at this point that we remind him that this is their third fight, with both fighters leveling at one win each.
“Oh, is this the third one?” ” he’s laughing. “Oh damn, see what I know about MMA?” “
But while his demeanor may seem flippant, his skills are anything but. A natural sportsman, Tuivasa landed a contract with the Sydney Roosters NRL team in 2010 before turning to mixed martial arts. Since then, he’s been steadily rising through the UFC ranks, sending in opponents with overwhelming right hooks and a never-say-no attitude.
And he’s not the only one in western Sydney to achieve great success right now. From the stars of the Penrith Panthers to pioneering rap group OneFour, Tuivasa is in good company. For him, being able to represent his community on the world stage is his greatest achievement to date.
“The goal has always been to make these kids where I come from proud and to show them that they can hunt whatever they want. We face many obstacles here. If you hold your head up and have fucking crack then you’ll be fine, ”he says.
Outside the Octagon, you’ll find Tuivasa who runs his own brand of beer, Drink West, which he proudly tells us is bought, canned and distributed in his hometown in western Sydney, as well as ‘a podcast with his companion and fellow UFC fighter Tyson Pedro. For anyone who hasn’t logged into a episode of The Halfcast Podcast, we highly recommend it. Tuivasa’s cheeky smile and refusal to be censored are just plain hilarious. Given his capabilities on the mic, do we suggest that a post-UFC career in fight commentator could be considered?
“I would love to do this shit,” he replies. “I’m always laughing and relaxing – if that makes money and makes sense, I’m in it!” “
We can’t wait to see this become a reality. But before that, he has his sights set on Sunday’s opponent Greg Hardy. In typical Tuivasa fashion, he plans to do a shoey after the fight.
“When I knock this guy out, that’s what I do. And I want all of Vegas to do it too.
It’s a sight we would pay to see.
UFC 264 takes place on Sunday, July 11 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas