Junior Tafa vs David Tuliloa, Australian wants UFC contract
Junior Tafa has vowed to win over UFC president Dana White by any means necessary – which is why, on just seven days notice, he is set to box a rival who outweighs him by 40kg.
The younger brother of Australian UFC heavyweight Justin Tafa, 25-year-old Junior has promised to “make my name pop” when he faces the hulking David Tuliloa on Thursday’s Origin Rumble undercard in Brisbane.
Already a renowned kickboxer, the Brisbane fighter is now switching up combat disciplines again after having taken, and won, two Mixed Martial Arts earlier this year – both by TKO.
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As part of his ambitious push to earn a UFC contract, Tafa said he did not hesitate when given the 11th-hour call up to fight in front of all the eyeballs that a Paul Gallen headliner brings.
Yet despite tipping the scales at 102kg, the Queenslander will concede close to the equivalent of a flyweight fighter against Tuliloa – who officially weighed in on Thursday at a staggering 146.4kg.
“When the UFC starts looking for names here in Australia, I want mine to be popping,” Tafa explained.
“I want to be the fighter who is active and knocking guys out.
“I want to be in the UFC by early next year. Want to share a place on the same card as my brother.”
Tafa added the he also wanted to prove himself a fighter in every sense.
“I’m a man who is always willing,” he said.
“That’s why they called me last week and here I am.
“I’m a real fighter. Fight all disciplines.
“You want me to box, kickbox, Muay Thai, MMA, I do it all.
“I really will fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.
“Give me a name and that’s it.”
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Asked about giving up more than 40kg to his rival, Tafa continued: “My last fight I gave up 20 kilos and that was in MMA, where the guy can lay all over you.
“But this is just another opportunity for me.
“If the UFC comes here next February (as has been speculated) and they’re looking for guys who have been active, I’ve fought two MMA fights in less than a month.
“I went between two divisions, too.
“Light heavyweight against a Japanese fighter (Taisei Sekino) and then heavyweight against an American (Kelvin Fitial).
“In the UFC though I’ll fight light heavyweight. Because the heavyweights have already got my brother Justin and my boy Tai Tuivasa. We grew up together and have come through the ranks.”