UFC 271: Tai Tuivasa Knows Derrick Lewis Fight Is Biggest Of His Career

Houston, TX – For UFC heavyweight Tai Tuivasa neither the opponent nor the location is important, but it does however define what the bout means to his career.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Tuivasa admitted that while he has fought big fights before, this one against Lewis is the biggest fight yet.

“Oh definitely so far. As in how important it is, I think. I’ve fought people like JDS, Ivanov, these guys are also fighters as well you know what I mean? I don’t think it’s anything to do with the fighting side of things. I think it’s probably just the biggest fight of my career as in, if I win this, I’m up there in the big conversation with the big boys,” Tuivasa said.

Tuivasa (14-3) takes on Derrick Lewis (26-8-1NC) in the co-main slot at UFC 271 on Saturday night in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, TX. Fighting in enemy territory means very little to Tuivasa.

“I don’t really care. Once the cage door closes no one can help you anyway. I’m going to expect a few boos obviously I’m coming to his hometown, but that’s expected.”

Now will the shoey get booed?

“The shoey won’t get booed, I’ll get booed, but the shoey won’t get booed.”

Tuivasa found himself on the outside looking in when 2020 came around as he was cut from the UFC while riding a three-fight losing streak. However he was signed to fight Stefan Struve at UFC 254 and he took advantage of the opportunity as he finished the ‘Skyscraper’ via KO in the first round.

Now Tuivasa finds himself possibly a couple wins from a title shot.

“I think I was kind of rushing it before. I was just starting out rushing it. You’ve got to crawl before you can walk sometimes. Now I feel like I’ve matured, I feel like it’s my time.”

Ultimately Tuivasa is known for being one of the more fun personalities in the UFC with his patented shoey celebrations after wins, and sometimes even after losses. At Lewis’ last fight he threw his cup into the audience at the UFC APEX and a fan took it and drank a beer after it. A ‘cupey’ if you will.

“Well he can throw it to me when I win and I’ll do a cupey out of his ball guard then. I’m keen.”

Watch the full UFC 271 media day press scrum with Tai Tuivasa above.