UFC 225 will feature three very strong heavyweight fights, and one of them will take place on the PPV main card as former champion Andrei Arlovski will face Tai Tuivasa in the Australian’s biggest test to date. Tuivasa, who is 7-0 in his professional career is 2-0 in the UFC and has finished both of those fights inside the first round. Most recently, Tuivasa, also known as “Bam Bam” finished Cyril Asker by first-round TKO at UFC 221.
Following the victory over Asker in his home country, Tuivasa paid honor to his home with a celebration known as the “shoey” where he chugged beer out of a shoe.
While the celebration was not only hilarious and a show of respect to his home country, it was also a telling sign that Tuivasa is looking to make a statement for himself both inside and outside the Octagon. At UFC 225, he’ll have his biggest challenge and opportunity to make a statement inside the Octagon when he faces former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
Recently, Arlovski had the toughest stretch of his career when he dropped five straight fights, but has gone back to his winning ways in his last two fights. Arlovski broke his losing streak when he defeated Junior Albini at UFC Fight Night 120, and then started a winning streak when he won his second straight fight with a win over Stefan Struve at UFC 222 in March. The win streak certainly increased confidence for the former champion, who will now return to Chicago, the same place he was training when he became the UFC champion.
Although he now trains with American Top Team down in Florida, coming back to Chicago where most of his glory days in the UFC took place must have some significance to Arlovski as he looks to extend his win streak. While neither of his last two victories have come with a finish, he has a chance to be the first loss on Tuivasa’s undefeated professional record.
As for Tuivasa, with fellow Australians Megan Anderson and Robert Whittaker on deck to fight the same night, he’s got a chance to really make a name for himself inside the heavyweight division that could use more fresh blood atop the division.
There’s talent from “Down Under” all night at UFC 225, but for Tai Tuivasa, a win over a legend and former champion in Arlovski may not get him right to the top of the division, but it’d make a statement that he deserves to fight the very best of the best heavyweights.
Besides, who else is going to drink out of a shoe if they’re victorious at UFC 225? There’s only one “Bam Bam”.