This week, the #3-ranked Tuivasa is in Paris, France, looking to continue his fine resurgence inside the Octagon, which has seen him rebound from a three-fight skid with an entertaining five-fight win streak, the victims of which were Stefan Struve, Harry Hunsucker, Greg Hardy, Augusto Sakai, and Derrick Lewis.
But in the UFC Paris main event, “Bam Bam” will be handed a puzzle on the feet that no one has cracked to date — the speed, movement, and technical style of former interim champion and current #1-ranked heavyweight Gane.
The tale of this one appears simple: immense power, which is often the main equalizer at heavyweight, versus the new breed of heavyweight fighting brought to the cage by former Muay Thai practitioner Gane.
While many have suggested that the Australian has a tough task ahead of him, especially given how “Bon Gamin” has dealt with power-punchers in the past — even getting the better of Francis Ngannou before “The Predator” utilized wrestling to turn the tide — he now has some advice from fellow Oceanian Adesanya to aid his efforts in the French capital.
Adesanya: ‘Tuivasa Has To Make It Ugly’
During an appearance on The Blakamoto & Oscar Show, hosted by The Mac Life’s Oscar Willis and the UFC middleweight champion’s brother David Adesanya, “The Last Stylebender” broke down the upcoming UFC Paris headliner.
When David suggested that Tuivasa needs to make it ugly in the clinch instead of going toe-to-toe with the technical striking of Gane, Israel agreed. The Nigerian-New Zealander suggested that “Bam Bam” needs to use his weight to pin the Frenchman against the cage, as well as using level changes to force openings for some heavy shots.
“I think so, too, but the thing with Gane is that he’s good there as well,” Adesanya said. “I don’t know what Tai’s game plan is for this fight. If I was Tai and I was fighting Gane, how would I fight a guy that’s smart, fights long, uses weapons well, up, mid, low; how would I fight him? I’d strike with him on the outside for a little bit, but then I’d have to get him on the fence and use my weight. If I was Tai, I’d use my weight on him.
“And Tai is good inside as well, with the elbows. When he gets a good flow going, especially when he’s on — not when he’s against the fence — when he’s on them, he throws some bombs. Even feinting for takedowns. Tai can wrestle, why not? Just f*cking get him against the fence,” Adesanya continued. “Create scrambles, create moments where the guy has to defend the takedown and you hit him on the way up. Tai has to make it ugly, but ugly against the fence.”
Adesanya’s comments are especially relevant given how Tuivasa turned the lights out on his opponent last time out. At UFC 271 in February, the middleweight king had a backstage view as the Aussie slept “The Black Beast” Lewis with a brutal elbow against the cage.
Should Tuivasa heed the advice of Adesanya, perhaps we’ll be seeing the second iteration of the “Bam Bam” elbow, with Gane as the victim this time.
Do you agree with Israel Adesanya’s take on how Tai Tuivasa should approach the UFC Paris headliner?