Tai Tuivasa Says He Accepted Derrick Lewis Fight While He Was Drunk

Tai Tuivasa has confessed that he accepted a co-main event fight with ‘The Black Beast’ Derrick Lewis at UFC 271 while he was ‘blind drunk’, but in the cold light of day he’s still happy with the match-up.

“I was on the piss; I was blind [drunk],” Tuivasa told ESPN. “I didn’t notice until the next morning that [UFC matchmaker] Mick Maynard messaged me and I had messaged back. He messaged, ‘Are you awake,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah’; it was like 4:30 in the morning.

“And then I woke up to 20 missed calls from my manager, from my coach Sully [Shaun Sullivan] and shit like that, so I was like, ‘Something must have happened.’

“And then it came up, and why not? Why wouldn’t I? It’s a great opportunity. Obviously, he’s No. 2 or No. 3 or whatever he is. He’s a fan favorite; I’m a fan favorite. I really respect Derrick, what he’s done and the person he is.

“Why wouldn’t I say yes? I think it’s all win-win, it’s an opportunity for me, so I’m all in. And I think it’s my time, it’s my time to take over and become the new [revered] fighter of my generation, just like he was before me. I think it’s my time to take over.”

Lewis is currently the No.3 contender at heavyweight, while Tuivasa is No.11, so it certainly could be a great chance to push himself firmly into the Top 10, and he believes he also has advantages over the former title contender too.

“I’m younger, I think I’m faster, I’ve got the aggression, and my style is probably going to be really hard for him,” Tuivasa said. “But I’ll worry about me; Derrick’s the same, as he worries about himself and what he’s good at. So that’s what the fight’s going to be.

“It’s going to be a battle of that — who’s going to land the shot first, and who’s going to execute it the best. And I feel like I’ve got what it takes to put him away.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.