The fan-favorite Tai Tuivasa will step up against the former interim UFC heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane in the event headliner when the world’s biggest promotion will be heading to Paris this Saturday for a UFC Fight Night for the very first time. While Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori will face each other in the co-main event of the evening.
Since making his debut at UFC, he went unbeaten in his first three fights before facing three back-to-back losses to Junior dos Santos, #15 ranked Blagoy Ivanov, and #12 Sergey Spivak. With the win over Derrick Lewis at UFC 271 in February 2022, Tuivasa improved his winning to 5-fights making him a serious contender in the heavyweight division. He is currently #3 ranked in the division and if he gets past Ciryl Gane, Tuivasa is targeting a clash with the UFC living legend Jon Jones.
Jon Jones vacated the light heavyweight title and announced to move up the division. He has already hinted his return targeted at UFC 282. It is expected that Jon Jones will be offered an interim title fight against Stipe Miocic. But Miocic has not stepped in the octagon since losing his title against Francis Ngannou back in March 2021. So most probably, the winner of the UFC Paris main event will earn the number one spot in the division and a shot for the UFC gold.
On the other hand, Tai Tuivasa is a fan of Jon Jones. It can be difficult to tell considering the brief exchange the two had on social media a few weeks ago, but Tuivasa has plenty of praise for the three-time UFC light heavyweight champion. During an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday, Tuivasa revealed how he and Jones ended up exchanging direct messages this past July.
“He messaged me actually, which was pretty funny,” Tuivasa said. “I must have said I’ll fight him [in an interview] and he’s going, like, ‘Keep winning, you’ll get your wish or something.
“I don’t know if he was trying to scare me or turn me on, but it did kind of both.”
The conversation with the former champion didn’t produce something eventful, but he is in line for the title fight. If Jones is serious about adding to his legacy with a legitimate run at heavyweight, there is a possibility the Australian might step in with Jon Jones across the cage. It excites the #3 ranked heavyweight when asked about his opinion over a potential meeting with Jones. He admires Jon Jones and states,
“I’ve said it many times before and I stand by what I said, I think Jon Jones is the best fighter to ever fight,” Tuivasa said. “Just how he fights. How he fights, he is probably the best fighter to ever step foot in the cage.
“But is he a d***head? Yes, I think he’s a d***head. And will I fight him? Yes. Will he fight me? I think he would because he’s fought, everyone and anyone. He’s one of the greatest to do it, but I’d love to fight him. Not for anything else, just for the same reason, I like to fight all these people who have made names.”
No fighter has ever actually defeated Jones in competition, but Tuivasa thinks he could be the first to not only beat Jones but knock him out. It will be one of the most anticipated fights if it does happen in the near future. Let us know your opinion about the potential match-up in the comment box. Will Tai Tuivasa would be the one to defeat Jon Jones on his heavyweight debut?