Tai Tuivasa has been bagged for calling himself a streetfighter by opponent Junior Dos Santos.Former UFC heavyweight world champion Junior Dos Santos has slammed the streetfighting background of n Tai Tuivasa, his opponent in the headline bout on the December 2 card in Adelaide.
After just three UFC bouts, hard-striking Sydneysider Tuivasa is already ranked 11th, just four spots below Dos Santos, who held the title in 2011-12 .
The 25-year-old n underlined his potential and continued to build his reputation with a decision win over another former world champion, Andrei Arlovski, in his last fight in Chicago back in June.
But Tuivasa’s reference to streetfighting in a post-fight interview raised the ire of 34-year-old Dos Santos.
“I was kind of enjoying his personality, but when he said he comes from streetfighting I said: ‘What is that? That’s not a martial art,'” Dos Santos told AAP.
“I want to know if that’s true. How can someone represent streetfighting? It’s bullshit.”
Those comments may add even more motivation for Tuivasa, who wants to avenge a stoppage loss his mentor Mark Hunt suffered to Dos Santos back in 2013.
“That was a great fight and an honour for me, Mark Hunt is a legend,” Dos Santos said.
“I’m sure that Mark Hunt is going to be giving him some tips, some advice.
“I think that’s good for him, because he’s going to need that.
“I’m coming to give him some hard times inside the octagon.”
Hunt is also appearing on the Adelaide card, in what will be the last fight of the Sydneysider’s UFC contract.
He will fight American Justin Wills, who at 15th is ranked five places below 44-year-old Hunt.
Tuivasa and Dos Santos both favour a stand-up style, which the Brazilian anticipates will produce a dramatic contest.
“He throws a hard punch. He likes to stand up and bang, that’s my style man, so that’s going to be good for the fans,” Dos Santos said.
“They will see a good fight. My first strategy has been and is always going to be to knock people out, so I’m coming to knock this guy out.”