The UFC returns to Adelaide, Australia this weekend for an action packed event that is stacked with UFC legends and upcoming local talent. In the main event heavyweights Junior Dos Santos and Tai Tuivasa will go to war, while Mark Hunt takes on Justin Willis in the co-main. Not far behind them is fellow training partner Tyson Pedro who will battle Shogun Rua in a light heavyweight showdown.
And at the UFC Adelaide open workouts at the Rundle Mall, it was evident that the people of Australia are excited to see both their fellow Aussies and the Brazilian legends in the Octagon.
Things started off with Pedro who seemingly, much to the delight of the audience, passed out all of his training gear to the entire crowd. Pedro worked out to up-beat, positive hip-hop music that matched the energy of the fans. After he finished hitting some mitts he thanked everyone for their support.
“We know this is for the people. For the country,” Pedro said. “We put in the work and it’s going to be great.”
Following a brief and respectful faceoff between Pedro and Shogun, it was the former light heavyweight champ’s turn to put on a show for the people. After his workout he took the chance to address the crowd and thank them for their energy and support.
“I’m really happy to be back in Australia,” Shogun said. “Thank you UFC for letting me come here to fight. Thank you for all being here.”
And then it was the time for The Super Samoan.
Receiving a warm welcome was Hunt, who had a big smile on his face as he walked on stage. If the audience happened to blink they might have missed the fan favorite’s workout, as Hunt trained for what felt like just a few minutes before grabbing the microphone to address the crowd.
“I’ve come ready to blaze this weekend and get that W,” Hunt said. “Thank you everyone in Australia and New Zealand for supporting. Support the guys coming through.”
One of the guys Hunt is referring to is Tuivasa, who made his way to the stage moments after Hunt exited. Tuivasa came out dancing and smiling, perfectly reflecting the vibe of the crowd. Tuivasa displayed some of his striking skills and then left the crowd with a message.
“I’m back again. Let’s f****** go Adelaide,” Tuivasa said. “Everyone let’s pumpm it up and show the world what we are doing down here.”
Tuivasa then faced off with Dos Santos. The two locking eyes and enjoying every second of it. Then it was time for the former heavyweight champion of the world to show the crowd what he’s got.
Dos Santos didn’t hold back one bit. Looking like every bit of 240 pounds. The sound of him hitting mitts was hitting harder the bass of the music. Then Cigano thanked the crowd for their support.
“Its’ good to be here with you guys. I look forward to putting on a great performance and a great knockout,” Dos Santos said. “This is a great place and it makes me feel ready, even more ready than I was.”
If the spirit of the crowd on Sunday is anything like what we saw at the open workouts, expect it to be deafening inside of Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Make sure you see which of these fighters adds to their legacy by tuning into UFC Fight Night: Dos Santos vs Tuivasa on Saturday at 10pm/7pm ETPT on FS1.
Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews.