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Tai Tuivasa Training With Gokhan Saki In Dubai Ahead Of UFC Heavyweight Clash With Don'Tale Mayes

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Tai Tuivasa Training With Gokhan Saki In Dubai Ahead Of UFC Heavyweight Clash With Don'Tale Mayes

Aussie heavyweight Tai Tuivasa has a new opponent.

It has been announced that the Western Sydney fan favourite will take on man mountain Don'Tale Mayes at UFC Las Vegas 22 on the 21st of March.

And it turns out "Bam Bam" has stumbled upon the perfect training partner to help him prepare for it: Kickboxing and Muay Thai great Gokhan Saki.

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There's a fair bit of hype around Dana White's Contender Series star Mayes, but in typical Tuivasa fashion, he isn't fused about who will be standing in front of him when those octagon doors slam shut.

"I heard this bloke likes to bang, right? Well, he'll quickly realise it's going to be a hard day in the office come fight day," Tuivasa told SPORTbible Australia.

Tai Tuivasa. Credit: PA
Tai Tuivasa. Credit: PA

"I'm only ever focused on fighting whose in front of me and right now that's him - it should be good fun.

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"Ever since I started mixed martial arts, people know that I couldn't care less who I fight. Put them in front of me, gimme my cash and I'll fight anyone. I'm not here to pick and choose.

"But just know that I'm travelling to beautiful Las Vegas looking for a win."

27-year-old Tuivasa heads into the bout as the bookies' favourite, and you can understand why.

His devastating first round knockout win over Stefan Struve at UFC 254 back in October put him right back in the picture for heavyweight title contention.

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And once his iconic victory celebrations on Fight Island died down, "Bam Bam" jetted straight over to the Middle East to sink his teeth into more training.

"I'm living in Dubai and it's great, there's so many talented fighters over here right now," he said.

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"There's a lot less rules over this part of the world so I think you'll gradually see more people start coming over in between fights and training camps.

"As far as preparation goes though, I've been training non stop so I think I'm more than prepared for this fight."

And it turns out Tuivasa is over in Dubai with a few familiar faces too.

"I'm actually here with Dan Hooker while he's waiting to get back to New Zealand after his fight with (Michael) Chandler," he added.

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"Dan's loving it here. We all miss our families, him included, but he's a true professional. He trains everyday and is such a good person to be around. He's probably dying to get on the first plane back to Auckland, but he also looks like he's loving it out here in Dubai.

Kickboxing and Muay Thai legend Gokhan Saki. Credit: Instagram/@gokhansaki
Kickboxing and Muay Thai legend Gokhan Saki. Credit: Instagram/@gokhansaki

"Gokhan Saki is also out here. Getting to train and learn from one of the best kickboxers in the world is great and so valuable.

"I'm constantly learning from him and I'm ready to take all that into the octagon with come March. I'm excited."

Topics: kickboxing, Aussie, Dan Hooker, Heavyweight, UFC, Australia, MMA

Max Sherry
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