UFC commentator & fighter Paul Felder has apologized for ignoring the death of Tui Tuivasa's cousin during an interview at UFC Vegas 22.
On Saturday night, Tuivasa returned to the octagon to fight Harry Hunsucker on short notice after his original opponent, Don'Tale Mayes, was removed from the bout.
Tuivasa’s emotional tribute
Tuivasa wasted absolutely no time in dispatching Hunsucker with a vicious TKO win in just 49 seconds. The master of the post-fight celebration didn’t have his usual post-fight energy when speaking with Felder. He announced that he was dedicating the fight to his cousin who had been killed a few weeks prior. After an awkward interaction in the immediate aftermath, Felder decided to clear things up on social media.
“wanna make this clear. We had a mad scramble because of the ncaa tournament switching to us. I had my producers trying to make sure we transitioned smoothly. I had to welcome in new audience. I apologize @bambamtuivasa I knew I missed something. Sorry for the loss.”
Felder is the definition of a professional whether he’s inside the cage or at the commentary booth. Although he may have made a mistake here, it does seem as if he had his hands full with the production team.
Now, for Tuivasa, the focus can turn to dealing with the loss of his cousin and, after that, the pursuit of heavyweight glory in the UFC.
Being able to do so is easier said than done, but it was great to see Tuivasa dedicate his win in that manner, even if it may not have gone exactly to plan.
The heavyweight division is arguably as stacked as it has ever been with a parade of top contenders rising up to try and challenge the status quo. The 28-year-old Tuivasa has had his fair share of setbacks in the UFC, most notably when he went on a three-fight losing streak in 2018 and 2019. Things have been looking up recently regarding his fighting career with the Hunsucker victory taking him to a two-fight win streak.