Paris, France — There is really just one game plan when heavyweight Tai Tuivasa fights, and it will no doubt be in full effect on Saturday at UFC Paris.
Matched up with France’s own Ciryl Gane, Tuivasa (14-3), headlining his second UFC card, must contend with the strong cardio and movement of a fighter UFC President Dana White once called a heavyweight that moved like a middleweight.
But as the Australian put it during Thursday’s UFC Paris media day, “If I dink ’em, I sink ’em. If I hit you flush— then don’t worry about the cardio, don’t worry about none of that. You’re going to bed.”
That mindset, of course, is why fans love Tuivasa. That and his patented shoe-y celebration.
Ahead of the Paris card, Tuivasa raised eyebrows by stating he’d paid for his own airfare to France. That, traditionally, is a cost the UFC covered. But Tuivasa was looking for an upgrade, and frankly more space to suit his frame.
“Well I’m not the smallest human, so it is better to fly up the front,” he told Cageside Press. “But I had a chat with Mick [Maynard], and I don’t know. Apparently it was in my contract to— I don’t know. But yeah, the flights, we should all fly business, just quietly. But that’s another conversation.”
As much as Tuivasa is focused on a former interim champ in Gane, there’s another ex-UFC champ he’s also interested in: Jon Jones.
“I’ve said it before, Jon Jones is a GOAT, he’s one of the greatest to ever fight. We all know this,” Tuivasa said on that front. “But as a heavyweight, no one really knows. I’m sure he’s still Jon Jones, he’s talented, his skill is great. But heavyweights are a different kind of league, and we don’t know. We have to wait and see.”
Asked who he saw winning a rumored fight between Jones and Stipe Miocic, “my tips are pretty bad,” Tuivasa replied. “I reckon Jones will get him. Jones is still young, I think Stipe is a bit older.”
“Bam Bam” would love to fight Jones himself, mind you. “I’d love to fight him. I said it before, this is why I do this. One day when I wrap up this whole fighting gig, I want to say I fought this guy and that guy, and they’re the best guys. I don’t want to come out and I didn’t have the opportunity to fight the best. I’d love to fight Jon, and I’d love to knock his head off as well, it’d be pretty cool.”
Watch the full UFC Paris media day appearance by Tai Tuivasa above. The event takes place this Saturday, September 3, 2022 at the Accor Arena in Paris, France.