Houston, TX – UFC 271 featured the middleweight title on the line in the main event, but if any other bout on the card had the crowd ready to explode it was the heavyweight co-main event.
Tai Tuivasa and Houston native Derrick Lewis battled for one round until Tuivasa landed a massive elbow that ended Lewis’ night. Tuivasa went into enemy territory and left to cheers from an appreciative crowd.
“I thought I did well. Come to Houston. Got a few boos at the start, but we ended in cheers,” Tuivasa said at his post-fight scrum.
The fight put two of the best knockout artists in the heavyweight division with Lewis having the most knockouts in UFC history and was sure to fail to reach the 15-minute time limit. Lewis was able to land quite a few big shots on Tuivasa, but Tai had the last word in the end.
“I got a few bumps on the head that’s for sure. On the side here, but there was nothing I wasn’t, I didn’t feel I was in too much danger, but he’s the knockout king, he’s got heavy hands. He’s a big boy so I definitely felt them, but I was still in the game.”
A win over Lewis is big for any fighter’s career but the streak that Tuivasa is on means he’s likely in the mix with the top 5 heavyweights in the UFC. Being considered an elite heavyweight vs. a fun fighter can be important for anyone with title aspirations. Not Tuivasa.
“Well I don’t really mind being the guy who drinks beers out of shoes and this and that because I supposed everyone else focuses on all of that but at the end of the day I’m knocking the best in the world out.”
Tuivasa is riding a 5-fight winning streak finishing all five victories by TKO or KO including three fights in 2021. Asked if he wants to get right back into the octagon Tuivasa had other ideas in mind.
“Nah I’m having a bit of a rest. My son started school so… first I’m going to Cancun. I heard there’s nice beaches and I like long walks on the beach and that. Go check out the sand I supposed and then go do some daddy drop-offs. My son started school, and then after that I’ll regroup with my team and we’ll go from there.
Watch the full UFC 271 post-fight press conference with Tai Tuivasa above.