Derrick Lewis took fan participation to a new level in December when he stripped off his cup from out of his shorts and threw it into the crowd after his win over Chris Daukaus.
One fan was seemingly delighted to take the unusual souvenir home. And now Lewis’ opponent for UFC 271, heavyweight fan favorite Tai Tuivasa, has upped the ante.
“He can toss it to me when he wins and then I’ll make a cuppy of his ball guard,” Tuivasa joked with a laugh Wednesday at UFC 271 media conference. “I’m keen.”
Tuivasa and Lewis face off Saturday in a high-stakes contender battle in UFC 271’s co-main event. A 28-year-old native of Australia, Tuivasa has developed a cult following among MMA fans for his heavy hands, jovial personality, and love of post-fight shoeys.
Lewis is a jokester himself, but even he couldn’t help but recoil at Tuivasa’s suggestion.
” That guy is nasty man,” Lewis exasperatedly said.
” I can’t do this. I don’t know. USADA needs to be knocking at his door all the time, he’s gotta be taking something to help his immune system. That is just nasty.”
In keeping with the shoey spirit, Lewis was then asked which UFC heavyweight he would actually be willing to go down the cuppy path with. It was not surprising that he answered the question.
“Man, what the hell? Nobody. It would be a shame to sip from anyone’s cup. Because we’re all fighters, I think everyone has musty nuts. Lewis joked that it’s all on the same level.
“I’m not watching all these guy’s diets. Because I am clean, I can probably drink it. It’ll be warm, you remember. [Like a] latte.”
Jokes aside, this matchup between Lewis & Tuivasa has a crucial role.
Lewis is the No. 4 ranked heavyweight in MMA Fighting’s global rankings, has won five of his last six fights and successfully rebounded from his interim title loss to Ciryl Gane with a thunderous knockout of Daukaus. Tuivasa is also MMA Fighting’s number one. 14 ranked heavyweight and has pushed his way into contention with four straight knockout wins.
And Tuivasa isn’t making any secret about his game plan once the bell rings.
” I’m not going out to wrestle him,” Tuivasa stated. “That wouldn’t be my smartest idea, but I’m a banger as well and I think that’s going to be the fight. It will be the smartest fighter who wins . The person with the most punches wins .
Watch the full video of Lewis & Tuisava at UFC 271 media days above and below.