Has there ever been a matchup in the UFC where the possible post-fight celebration was talked about as much as it has been ahead of Tuivasa vs. Lewis?
In the UFC 271 co-main event this weekend, we’ll see the UFC’s most prolific knockout artist face one of the hardest-hitting heavyweights, who’s on a knockout trail that’s left unconscious bodies in his wake.
But what is the leading narrative ahead of this Octagon-shaking collision? Drinking beer from a shoe. Actually, scratch that, from a cup…
In 2021, Tuivasa accomplished many things. He brought ’90’s pop back on the agenda with his memorable walkout anthems, he developed into a bona fide contender by extending his win streak to four with brutal KOs of Greg Hardy and Augusto Sakai, he cemented himself as perhaps the most universally loved athlete on the UFC roster, and he brought the ‘shoey’ into the mainstream.
What has last year’s success brought him in 2022? Well, aside from his own business venture in the form of the ‘shoeyvasa’, a date with “The Black Beast.”
Ahead of the highly-anticipated heavyweight bout, which represents a big opportunity for the 28-year-old to throw his name into the title conversation, Lewis hinted he could match Tuivasa’s trademark celebration with his own interesting take on the beer-drinking practice.
Carrying on from his UFC Vegas 45 cup throw, the two-time title challenger suggested he could treat himself to a beer from inside his own groin guard if he’s successful in front of his home crowd on Saturday night.
Having heard that proposal, Tuivasa went one better at UFC 271 media day on Wednesday. Wanting some of that “latte” action, as Lewis described it, “Bam Bam” said he was keen to chug a beverage from Lewis’ cup.
“He can throw it to me when I win and I’ll do a cuppy out of his ball guard then [LAUGHS]. I’m keen.”
Judging by Lewis’ response, the Australian appears to have found his American UFC peer’s line…
Lewis On Tuivasa’s ‘Cuppy’ Request: “That Guy’s Nasty”
During his own media day appearance, Lewis was told about Tuivasa’s willingness for a warm-ball “Black Beast” special (don’t expect to see that in your local anytime soon…).
It’s fair to say the 37-year-old will be keeping his guard firmly inside his shorts if the Aussie gets the win on Saturday night.
“Oh, that guy’s nasty man, I can’t do that,” said Lewis. “I don’t know. USADA needa be knocking on his door all the time, he’s gotta be taking something for his immune system. That is just nasty.”
Whatever happens, it seems fans can be sure of a few things come fight night; a KO/TKO, a can of beer entering the Octagon in the aftermath, and either a ‘shoey’ or a ‘cuppy’. Outside of that, we could see a new contender enter the heavyweight fray or an eight-year UFC veteran maintain his place among the heavyweight elite.
The term “people’s main event” gets thrown around more and more these days, but not many matchups embody the phrase quite like the UFC 271 co-main.
Who do you think will be left celebrating with a ‘shoey’ or ‘cuppy’ in the UFC 271 co-main event, Tai Tuivasa or Derrick Lewis?