Mandatory Credit: Twitter.

Victory Celebrations Get Wild as Tai Tuivasa Drinks a Can of Beer From a Fan’s Shoe…

The UFC heavyweight division is suddenly getting much more exciting. It’s long been derided as one of the most shallow weight classes in the organisation. Suddenly though a few prospects are breaking through into the mainstream. We’ve already had the dramatic rise of Francis Ngannou, but could another new star be on the cards?

Tai Tuivasa is one of the most exciting young fighters in the UFC. The Australian is quickly becoming a fan favourite for his brash and eccentric personality. When he made his debut he chose Vanessa Carlton’s 2001 hit A Thousand Miles as his walkout song. Fans lapped it up as he came out carrying an Aboriginal flag and singing loudly to the cheesy music.

He’s taken it up a level. After demolishing Cyril Asker on Saturday night at UFC 221, he decided that the best way to celebrate was to drink a beer out of a fan’s shoe. Yes, you read that correctly. If there’s one way to raise your profile, going viral for a guzzling a beer out some random lad’s Adidas sneaker is one way to do it.

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde, USA TODAY Sports.

Hot Prospect

‘Bam Bam’ came out of the blocks against Asker, quickly moving him back against the fence. The American was soon hanging on for dear life as Tuivasa launched elbow after vicious elbow at him before the fight was finally stopped.

It is his second win on the trot in the UFC after an incredibly athletic knockout of Rashad Coulter by jumping knee. The Australian trains down under with fellow heavyweight fan favourite Mark Hunt. Obviously, comparisons have been made, with many seeing Tuivasa as Hunt’s protégé.

However, the younger man is actually taller and longer-limbed than Hunt, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on as his quality of opponent increases. Question marks remain about his cardio. He actually has to cut up to 20 pounds to meet the 265lb limit. Considering he has yet to be taken past the first round in the UFC, this may not be too big of a problem for him.

No Hesitation

Naturally, after winning in his native country, he had to make the moment as memorable as possible. So he takes a fan’s shoe in his hand, raises it to the heavens and drinks a can load of beer that had been poured into it. Then he wipes his face and walks off. Easy.

”It’s just an everyday thing in Australia,” Tuivasa explained to the UFC’s Megan Olivi backstage. “That was a reasonable, fairly lower kind of shoey. Usually you get someone to spit in it, everybody spits in it and then you obviously skull it.”

“So welcome to Australia! Usually you get somebody’s work boot, that was a pretty new shoe, so that was all right. That was easy.”

The Rise of Australia?

Suddenly it looks like Australia is having its moment in the UFC. Robert Whittaker remains the undisputed middleweight champion after Yoel Romero beat Luke Rockhold. Romero was ineligible to claim the interim title after missing weight.

Meanwhile, fellow Australian Tyson Pedro defeated Saparbek Saferov by kimura in one of the moves of the night. Unfortunately for domestic fans, Oceania’s MMA trailblazer Mark Hunt lost to Curtis Blaydes on the night. Things are definitely getting hot down under!

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