Tai Tuivasa on fighting Jon Jones, ‘hated’ Greg Hardy, and how he got Derrick Lewis at UFC 271


Tai Tuivasa didn’t plan to return to the octagon so soon. After picking up his fourth straight knockout win, the main item on his agenda was drinking.

But after a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, he said UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard got the idea to put him back in against a big name, Derrick Lewis. It was then that it was time for a sanitization.

On Saturday, Tuivasa and Lewis co-headline UFC 271, which takes place on Lewis’ home turf of Houston at Toyota Center (and falls on the week of his 37th birthday). Tuivasa spoke on Wednesday about a range of subjects, including the possibility of fighting Lewis and his thoughts regarding Kevin Holland’s recent education of an internet trolling.

How the Lewis fight came together:

“I continued to drink after I talked to you, and apparently Mick messaged me that night,” Tuivasa said. “It was so bad that I was so pissed off, then when I woke up the next morning everyone called me .”


On why he didn’t think he’d return so fast to the UFC after his most recent fight, a knockout win over Augusto Sakai at UFC 269:

“I was getting pissed. I was in my holiday mode. Although I intended to extend my holiday, I realized it was a huge opportunity and Derrick is a great friend. I don’t see why not. It’s okay to grab the opportunity if it comes up.

On flying from Dubai to Houston nonstop in business class:

“I get my flights. I look after myself. I always sit in business. I cannot sit in the middle of the table. I’m too big. I don’t want to sit in economy, so I get my own.”

The most post-fight beer he has ever had :

“I wouldn’t know. A few. Oh yeah, [over 20]. Easy. I’ve never counted, but I reckon it’d be up there. I probably did 15-20 before I talked to you [in the previous interview].”

On Francis Ngannou‘s performance at UFC 270:

“He did well. It was a little more boring than I thought it would be. But he f*cking did good. He wrestled.”

The possibility of welcoming former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to the heavyweight division:

Count me in. I’ll jump in against Jon Jones.

Greg Hardy‘s recent social media post about nearly winning their fight at UFC 264:

“He’s a c*cksucker. I don’t know what he’s on about. If he wants it again, he can come see me. He’ll be whipped to sh*t again. … So many people hate him. He’s f*cking hated. Although I heard that he has done some bad things in the past it is clear that he hates people .”


How he chose his unique walkout music:

“Mainly, it’s the songs I listened to with my mom. A lot of them were when I used to drive around with my mom. They’re all songs I listened to on a daily basis.”

What he thinks about Kevin Holland’s recent video of a grappling session with an internet troll.

“I couldn’t do that. He would’ve been blasted .”