4 Things You Might Not Know About Tai Tuivasa

By Mark Raymundo Jun 14, 2018

Coming off the biggest win of his budding Ultimate Fighting Championship career, Tai Tuivasa is an ascending fighter. He had just earned a decision win over former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, but more importantly, he proved that he is indeed worthy of a big-name opponent.

With a 3-0 record in the promotion, things are definitely looking good for Tuivasa. Apart from drinking beer from people’s shoes, here are five things you might not know about the Aussie fighter.

1. He is proud of his heritage.

Being a product of two different cultures opened Tai’s eyes to a world of perspectives. His father, who comes from a village known for fighting, is extremely proud every time he walks out to the cage as he carries their heritage. The Samoan culture, according to Tai, is strong and very much alive unlike the Koori culture (his mother's ancestry), which is slowly fading. But with his recent success in mixed martial arts, Tai isn’t just proud of his heritage, he is honored to be the first indigenous Australian to win in the Octagon.

2. His tattoos were done the traditional way.

Tai has a traditional Samoan tattoo, the Pe’a, which was done in the extremely painful and old-fashioned way of tapping. For him and perhaps every Samoan, there is just no other way to do it. Otherwise it would be disrespectful. The tattoo took three months to finish since he had to go overseas for his fighting engagements. According to him, it is not just an ordinary tattoo as there is a lot of tradition behind it. When he was younger, Tai saw his uncle sporting the Pe’a and he asked his mother what it was. She said: “Only real men get those, son.” To which, he replied, “One day, I will get that for you, mom.”

3. He played rugby professionally.

Before MMA, Tai played rugby on a professional level. He played for the Sydney Roosters, and doing so meant being away from home most of the time, something he did not like in the long run. And while he was really good at it, he later realized that rugby league, with all the media attention it gets, didn’t suit his personality. Then came a point in time when his heart wasn’t into it anymore.

4. He has a special spot for the elderly.

Tai supports the Sydney Region Aboriginal Corporation, a nonprofit organization that provides care for disabled and elderly people of Western Sydney. To him, talking to seniors is always worthwhile. He gets to touch their lives in his own little way and learns in the process. He hopes that one day, they will get to see him and his brother-in-law, Tyson Pedro, fight in the UFC.
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