Western Sydney’s Tai Tuivasa edging closer towards bumper UFC battle with Ciryl Gane in France

Tai Tuivasa is so close to a shot at the UFC’s heavyweight title he can almost taste it and he’s eyeing a showdown with France’s Ciryl Gane in Paris to make it happen.

Tuivasa is riding a five-fight winning streak, all of which ended in vicious knockouts, and is edging closer towards a shot at championship gold.

The fight with Gane is yet to be confirmed, but Tuivasa would welcome the opportunity to take on the former title challenge in his backyard in the UFC event held in France.

“I’ve been scrubbing up on my French — je m’appelle Tai, and all that,” Tuivasa said.

“I’ve never been to Paris. All I know is it’s Europe and it’s summertime. We’ll have the fight, then we’ll party.”

Gane has suffered just one defeat in his MMA career, a unanimous decision loss to current champion Francis Ngannou earlier this year, but is counted as one of the top heavyweights in the sport.

His extensive Muay Thai experience, plus his uncommon athleticism and technical ability, would have him enter the fight as a favourite were it to go ahead.

But that doesn’t worry Tuivasa – according to the pride of western Sydney, he’s been proving people wrong his whole life, and even the prospect of taking on the Frenchman on enemy territory holds no fear for the 29-year old.

Tuivasa has been on a terrific run of late. (Getty Images via Zuffa LLC, Josh Hedges )

“Criyl Gane is a great fighter, a great athlete, he’s definitely a new breed of heavyweight. But it’s a fight. As long as I prepare myself, get fit – I might always be the underdog, but I love proving people wrong.

“It’s a westie thing. I’ve been proving people wrong my whole life, since I was a kid, with fighting, with business, with a lot of stuff.

“If I can do it, a kid that didn’t finish school, then anyone can. Just have a crack.

“I’m a crowd-pleaser. I love it. It’s what I do. The first thing would be to win, knock him out, and the fans will be sweet. That’s my thing.”

It’s been quite the homecoming for Tuivasa, who returned to Australia after several years away following his vicious knockout of Derrick Lewis in February.

Between his recent run of good form, his charisma in front of the cameras and the expansion of the Drink West beer that Tuivasa runs alongside fellow UFC fighter Tyson Pedro and Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary, his star has risen exponentially since he was last on home soil.

Tai Tuivasa celebrates beating Augusto Sakai
Tuivasa says he’d relish the chance to take on Gane. (Zuffa LLC, Jeff Bottari)

“I get recognised a lot more. It can be hard for the people around me, if I have to stop for photos or talk to people, but at the end of the day these are the people who buy the tickets,” Tuivasa said.

“Without fans, who the f*** would we be?”

Tuivasa currently sits third on the UFC’s rankings, sitting behind Gane and former champion Stipe Miocic.

With Miocic expected to face former light-heavyweight king Jon Jones later this year, a win over Gane would make Tuivasa’s case for a title shot undeniable, even accounting for Ngannou’s current contract dispute with the UFC.

Posted , updated 

Reference-www.abc.net.au

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.