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When Andrei Arlovski made his professional MMA debut in M-1 Global, Tai Tuivasa was just six years old.
This Sunday (AU) the undefeated Western Sydney prospect will face the Belarusian veteran at UFC 225 in Chicago, Illinois.
In just two UFC fights “Bam Bam” has enlivened the heavyweight division. If two first-round knockouts weren’t enough to capture the attention of fans, Tuivasa is almost just as entertaining with a microphone. A fight against experienced Arlovski is a big opportunity for the 25-year-old, but Tuivasa is confident he’ll get the job done.
“It’s an honour for me to get the chance to share the ring with someone like this, especially someone with his resume,” Tuivasa said of Arlovski. “But it’s that time. He’s had his time and it’s time for the young blood to move in and do my thing.
“This is the fight that all of this work has been for. I haven’t trained this hard or done all this for nothing, and this is the fight to show the world that I’m ready and that I’m no joke.”
In fact, all of Tuivasa’s seven professional wins have come by way of first-round knockout. He expects this fight to be no different in entertaining the fans.
“I only go out there one way and that’s fucking headfirst.
“He’s a stand-up fighter and I would put my stand-up against anyone in the world, personally. He’s got the experience and whatever else on his side, but I’ve also got the youth and the aggression, so I think it’s a fair match up and I think it’s gonna be a great fight.”
UFC 225 is easily the most stacked card of the year, but Tuivasa says he’s “not really fussed” by the magnitude of the bright lights and is spending fight week “sitting around waiting to punch on.”
Already under the 265lb heavyweight limit, Tuivasa credits a hard training camp for being on weight since the start of the week.
“I was at Tiger Muay Thai, so I’ve been partnered up with Glenn Sparv and he’s been putting me through my paces that’s for sure. I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in and probably one of the fittest.”
Tuivasa vs. Arlovski will feature on the main card of UFC 225 which is headlined by a middleweight title bout between fellow Australia Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. The event will be held at the United Centre in Chicago, Illinois this Sunday, June 10 (AU).