Heavyweight Augusto Sakai is hoping to end his rough patch at UFC 269.
Paired up against fan-favorite Tai Tuivasa on the event’s preliminary card, the Brazilian is being careful not to let the Aussie’s antics distract him from taking the fight seriously.
In an interview with Combate, Augusto says he has learned from his most recent losses and wants to show it against Tuivasa. In fact, a win would be such a ideal way to crown the year of 2021 that Sakai would even celebrate it by doing Tai’s famous shoey, but not quite the way the Australians do it.
“I think that my word for 2021 is ‘resilience’ and I’ll prove it on Saturday,” Sakai said. “I’ve been through a learning process, rough patches. I was really sad with these past two losses. Now I’m happy again and certain I’ll score a win on Saturday.
“He’s (Tuivasa) a guy who likes to have fun,” Sakai continued. “He comes to fight and he’s a pretty tough fighter. He has his qualities and a funny way about him, right? He gets the fans’ attention. That drinking beer out of a shoe thing he does gets him a lot of buzz. The fans think he’s funny. On Saturday, I’ll be drinking my water out of a shoe.”
Currently on a two-fight losing skid, Sakai (15-3-1) got knocked out by both Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alistair Overeem in his lst outing, respectively in June 2021 and September 2020. Before that, the 30-year-old was on a four-fight winning streak, with victories over Blagoy Ivanov, Marcin Tybura, Andrei Arlovski and Chase Sherman.
Now, Sakai is expected to meet Tuivasa at UFC 269 on December 11, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight title fight between the champion, Charles Oliveira, and top contender Dustin Poirier.