Tai Tuivasa will fight Brazil’s Junior Dos Santos as the headline act on a UFC card in Adelaide.Emerging star Tai Tuivasa has no reservations about being fast-tracked by the UFC after being matched with a former heavyweight world champion for a second straight bout.
The 25-year old Sydneysider will fight Brazilian star Junior Dos Santos in the main event on the December 2 UFC card at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Tuivasa, who got a decision win over Andrei Arlovski in his last fight is ranked 10th in the world, three places below Brazilian Dos Santos after winning his first three UFC contests.
“To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, that’s how I think,” Tuivasa told AAP.
“I want to be thrown in the deep end and it’s up to me, to sink or swim.”
It’s a match-up Tuivavsa wanted as he designed a poster of Dos Santos and himself with the date of the fight on and put it on Instagram.
“Dos Santos is such a big name, he’s beaten the who’s who of the sport, he’s been at the top of the sport,” Tuivasa said.
“I’m not in this to tiptoe around fights, I want to fight the baddest guys and hopefully one day become the baddest myself.”
It might be a case of being careful what he wishes for.
Dos Santos has beaten several former world champions and the 34-year-old Brazilian remains a dangerous opponent despite losing his world title in 2012.
It looms as an all-action match-up with both fighters expected to trade blows in a stand-up slugfest rather than looking to grapple on the ground.
“He’s probably got one of the best stand-up (games) in the sport,” Tuivasa said,
“That’s another thing that attracts me to this fight, I’m not going to be trying to take him down, he’s not going to be trying to take me down, so it’s going to be a whole bunch of punch face.”
The co-main event for the Adelaide show has still to be announced.
However, the card will feature the UFC debut of highly touted Victorian light heavyweight Jim “The Brute” Clute against Scotsman Paul Craig and a battle of world ranked flyweights Brisbane-based American Ben Nguyen and Brazilian Wilson Reis.