Coach Details Importance Of 'Massive Advantage' Tai Tuivasa Has In UFC 293 Return
This weekend’s pay-per-view event marks an important one for UFC heavyweight contender Tai Tuivasa, who is in danger of losing touch with those towards the top of the division.
Talk of Tuivasa and the title picture would have been unheard of back in early 2020, when “Bam Bam” was coming off three consecutive defeats and sat a firm distance outside of the rankings.
But courtesy of a memorable and destructive five-fight winning run that included a knockout of Derrick Lewis, the Aussie surged all the way up to #3 on the heavyweight ladder.
While that left him seemingly one victory away from an unlikely opportunity at champion status, stoppage losses at the hands of Ciryl Gane and Sergei Pavlovich have pushed Tuivasa back.
After taking time away from action, the #6-ranked contender will make the walk again this weekend in Sydney, where a crowd of compatriots will await him. And for this occasion, “Bam Bam” has kept everything close to home.
Coach: Home Fight, Preparation Crucial For Tuivasa
During the first episode of the UFC 293 Embedded: Vlog Series, Tuivasa looked ahead to his first outing of the year and spoke on his preparation leading into his collision with Alexander Volkov.
Although his past training camps have been completed away from Australia, the Sydney native has remained home to get ready for his showdown with “Drago,” a decision he thinks has paid off.
“Prep’s been really good. I feel refreshed to be home. I’m here with familiar faces. I feel good being around my family,” Tuivasa said. “It’s been a very long time since I’ve done a legit camp back home in Sydney. I feel like I’ve matured a lot over the years. I feel like I’m ready to go.”
Likewise, the heavyweight contender’s coach, Jason Lapin, also believes that Tuivasa is reaping the benefits of bringing his training back to soil he’s familiar with following a difficult period last year.
“It’s huge to be here back in Sydney. It’s a massive advantage for Tai, I feel, to be around his people, his family, his friends,” Lapin said. “I think Tai has assembled a nice little crew here. ‘He’s got some childhood friends, some folks he’s knocked around with. They’ve all come together to help for this camp.
“His fitness is good, his cardio’s good. Strength is great. It’s been a pleasure to work with him,” Lapin continued. “It’s a big challenge, but I think that’s why Tai has come back home for this camp. Just to be grounded and get back to basics… Now it’s just get ready and back to business.”
Tuivasa will hope that his decision to prepare close to home for his long-awaited next Octagon outing in Sydney will prove to have been beneficial when he shares the cage with the towering Volkov.
While the Russian boasts a significant height and reach advantage, those aren’t deficits that have stalled “Bam Bam” in the past, and the Aussie will look to send Volkov to the same fate as he did “Skyscraper” Stefan Struve back in 2020.
Ready to throw down (under) in the co-main 👊💥@BamBamTuivasa vs @AlexDragoVolkov #UFC293 | Tomorrow | Live on ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/X3HkEdBjIb pic.twitter.com/wi87YbC4Az
— UFC (@ufc) September 8, 2023
- Read Also: Alexander Volkov Downplays Tai Tuivasa’s Standing In Heavyweight Division: ‘He Drinks A Shoe After Wins, Just This’
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