EXCLUSIVE: Tai Tuivasa, the UFC’s biggest drinker and self-described as ‘world’s heaviest eshay’, hates being alcohol-free at his training camp in Dubai – and will take his anger out on Ciryl Gane in the biggest fight of the year his career
- Tai Tuivasa prepares to take on Ciryl Gane in the biggest fight of his career
- Aussie slugger didn’t drink alcohol for a month before the showdown
- Tuivasa says he will shock the world if he beats Gane
Western Sydney heavyweight Tai ‘Bam Bam’ Tuivasa prepares to face Ciryl Gane in the biggest fight of his career on September 3 – and in bad news for the French UFC star, he hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol as he prepares in front of.
The heavy-drinking KO king who racks up a five-fight win streak says he doesn’t touch the hard stuff at all while he’s training, but can’t wait to have a few beers once the fight is over.
“I’m a man of extremes,” laughs the 28-year-old who is known for his shoeys in the Octagon.
‘I can’t have one or two’ [drinks] or something small. It’s not in me. I go cold turkey during camp and then make up for it in the first three days after the fight.’
Tai Tuivasa celebrates win in the Octagon with a shoey after knocking out Derrick Lewis at UFC 271
Tai Tuivasa trades punches before knocking out Augusto Sakai at UFC 269 in 2021
The proud Western Sydney resident, who now owns a brewery in Penrith, is quickly becoming one of the most popular fighters in the world – with noted MMA expert Chael Sonnen recently calling him “the biggest star in heavyweight”.
Tuivasa accepts Sonnen’s statement as fact.
“Well, he wouldn’t be wrong — but it’s a cool scream nonetheless,” he said.
Tuivasa – who told Daily Mail Australia he didn’t mind being called the world’s toughest eshay ‘because it’s true’ – is on a winning streak that will see him KO Stefan Struve, Harry Hunsucker, Greg Hardy, Augusto Sakai and Derrick Lewis has shown – solidifying his status as one of the best heavyweights in the world.
Tai Tuivasa and fellow UFC fighter Tyson Pedro have their own beer, Drink West. launched
He attributes this change in form largely to moving his training camps to Dubai and a more professional approach to his career.
‘My attitude has changed. My work ethic has changed. And I have a really good group of people around me. We all have the same goal. I’m finding my way and I’m only getting better and better at this sport,” said Tuivasa.
“The more comfortable I am in this sport, the more drama people will have if they go against me.”
The next opponent of the #3 ranked heavyweight in Paris – Ciryl Gane – is a former UFC champion and easily the best opponent Tuivasa has ever faced in the Octagon. As such, the Aussie is a big gambling underdog.
“I’m okay with being an underdog. I was born an underdog in Western Sydney – the home of the underdogs,” Tuivasa laughed.
“I go out and do what I do – that’s knockout. I’m going to take his head off. I’m sure he will try to do the same – and that’s what excites me so much about this sport. I’m going to shock the world.’
Tai Tuivasa took on Rashad Coulter in Sydney in 2017. He’s happy to be the underdog against Gane, the best opponent he’s ever seen
“If I drink them, I’ll sink them, it doesn’t matter who it is. A lot of people still doubt me, so I have to silence them.’
If Tuivasa beats Gane in Paris, there’s a good chance the UFC will cut a promotion back — meaning Tuivasa would be fighting for the championship title at home.
“We need some entertainment, let’s bring it back to Australia. Even if it’s not for my fight, we’ve got Alex Volkanovski and he’s one of the best who’s ever done it, so we’ve got some big names and I’m sure Australia would love the UFC at home,” said Tuivasa.
Tai Tuivasa walks with a crate of Drink West – his own beer label that is now the official beer of the UFC in Australia
Tuivasa can insure fans who win or lose, he will be drinking afterwards.
“This camp has been around for a long time, so I’m excited to get any kind of grog in me — I don’t care if it’s wine, beer, or whatever. I’ve never been to Paris either, so I’m looking forward to going there and intervening.”