Tai Tuivasa eyes fight with ex-UFC champ Stipe Miocic in July

  • Tom Ward
UFC 271: Derrick Lewis v Tai Tuivasa

Tai Tuivasa fancies a scrap against Stipe Miocic later this year.

And the UFC fan favourite insisted ‘it’s definitely a fight that I think should be up next’.

Nicknamed ‘Bam Bam’, Tuivasa is coming off the back of last month’s knockout win over Derrick Lewis, blasting out the Black Beast in the second round of their heavyweight clash in front of his home crowd at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Miocic, meanwhile, suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Francis Ngannou at UFC 260. That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for the American.

And Tuivasa, who has won each of his last five fights in a row with all five coming by way of KO, sees Miocic as the perfect opponent to propel him into a title shot against Ngannou.

Tuivasa told MMA Junkie: “It’s definitely a fight that I think should be up next, or especially it’s the fight I want.

“I think the other guys around the clock, I think we’re gonna be around for a few more years and out of respect, I think I would love to share the ring with him, and I think I’m up there for a chance of it, so why not?

HOUSTON, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 12: Tai Tuivasa of Australia celebrates after winning his heavyweight fight against Derrick Lewis via a second-round knockout during UFC 271 at Toyota Center on February 12, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

“He’s a great fighter, someone I’ve watched for many years and someone I’d definitely love to challenge myself against.

“I’m on a five-fight streak now, and now I’m No. 3 [in the UFC rankings].

“It’s not that hard. Stipe is in front and like I said, it’s somebody I’d love to challenge myself against, especially that it’s somebody that I’ve seen do his thing for many years.

“And, well, he’s still in front of me at the end of the day, someone I’d like to go against.

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Francis Ngannou

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“I think that was the timeline that we heard Stipe wants to have a fight in, so that kind of makes sense, as well.

“Even to say Stipe’s name, it kind of sounds a bit surreal sometimes even when I say it. But it’s like, I’m here. I’ve made it now.

“I’m up here with the best, and that’s who I want to get next. That’s pretty cool, but it’s time for some people to move out and some new people to move in.”

Tuivasa is one of the most exciting fighters in the heavyweight division, with 13 knockouts to his name, including wins over Greg Hardy, Augusto Sakai and Junior dos Santos.

The 28-year-old was born in Australia, but now fights out of Dubai.

READ MORE: Tai Tuivasa forces Dana White to do a shoey after knockout win over Derrick Lewis

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