UFC analyst and commentator Michael Bisping expressed concern for the return of Tai Tuivasa.
Fan favorite Tuivasa was last seen in action against former interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane in the headlining bout of the promotion’s debut in France at UFC Paris. Tuivasa and Gane put on an entertaining show for the fans in a competitive outing that saw both men get their moments. He powered through some vicious kicks to the body and even managed to drop Gane. However, Tuivasa’s five-fight winning run came to an end when ‘Bon Gamin’ knocked him out in the third round.
Following his first main event, the future looked uncertain for the top-ranked heavyweight contender. The loss pushed him behind in the mix of title contention.
With reigning champion Francis Ngannou and top contenders like Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones stuck in a shuffle, ‘Bam Bam’ got paired with Sergei Pavlovich for his next bout at UFC on ESPN 42 on Dec. 3 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
Bisping Is Concerned for Tuivasa
In an episode of the “Believe You Me” podcast, former UFC middleweight champion Bisping shared his thoughts on Tuivasa’s next fight and admitted he was a bit concerned about his next opponent.
“Tai Tuivasa, of course, the last time we saw him was with Ciryl Gane in Paris. It didn’t go his way,” said Bisping. “He almost finished the fight, and dropped Ciryl but Ciryl came back and finished him. I love Tai Tuivasa maybe that’s why I’m concerned. I shouldn’t be concerned, they’re the two top heavyweights. They can both fight, they both love it, love a row, and they both love to get in there and throw down.”
The Hall of Famer questioned if it was the right move for Tuivasa’s career and expressed his support for the 29-year-old Australian.
“But I’m such a fan of Tai Tuivasa coming back after a knockout against Ciryl Gane, I’m like, ‘is this a smart matchup?’ I don’t know and he would probably say, ‘shut up mate! You’re a f***ing p***y. Listen mate, this is what we got to do. We got to fight.’ He’s absolutely right but I’m just a fan that I want to see him do big things.”
Bisping Believes Pavlovich Will Be a Tough Challenge for ‘Bam Bam’
Pavlovich is currently on a four-fight win streak, which saw him finish all of his opponents, including Derrick Lewis in July for his latest showing at UFC 277. He goes into the bout with an impressive record of 15 wins with a single loss to Alistair Overeem, the first athlete to hold world titles in both kickboxing and MMA.
‘The Count’ reckons Pavlovich will present a tough challenge for ‘Bam Bam’ and cautioned him about his opponent’s dangerous power.
“He is a wrecking machine. His last few fights, he’s knocking everybody out. He hits hard as f***. Derrick Lewis was one of his knockouts then he fought back in London at the start of the year; knocked out Shamil Abdurakhimov there.
“The man’s unreal. He’s only got one loss on his record. He hits hard as a motherf***er. He knocked out Derrick Lewis last time, that tells you everything.”