What is a 'Shoey' and how is UFC heavyweight 'Bam Bam' Tai Tuivasa associated with it?

UFC heavyweight Tai Tuivasa (Image credit: @UFC via Twitter)
UFC heavyweight Tai Tuivasa (Image credit: @UFC via Twitter)

Tai Tuivasa is well known for honoring the tradition called 'shoey' after registering a victory inside the UFC octagon. The Australian heavyweight was the first fighter to introduce the celebration in the UFC, when he proceeded to perform it at UFC 221 with a win over Cyril Asker.

Although the practice was originally initiated in Chicago, United States, in the early 20th century, it remains largely popular in Tuivasa's home country, Australia. The celebration requires an individual to start chugging alcohol from a worn shoe.

Tai Tuivasa's countryman, Daniel Ricciardo, who is a Formula 1 driver, is also one of the more popular sportspersons to consistently perform shoey.

Watch Tuivasa celebrate with a shoey below:

At UFC 234 in 2019, Tuivasa also inspired Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone to do a shoey from the stands.

Tuivasa's win over the towering Stefan Struve called for a shoey celebration at UFC 254. Since beer was not allowed inside the Flash Forum venue, the Australian stormed backstage and performed the shoey with YouTubers Nelk Boys.

Tuivasa, however, cites his celebration as an "Australian thing". The 30-year-old had an interesting chat with ESPN's Ariel Helwani regarding it.

Tai Tuivasa got the UFC boss to celebrate with a shoey

UFC color commentator Joe Rogan is one of the individuals that get grossed out by the practice of shoey. The popular podcaster even went on to call the practice 'disgusting' and refused to lend his shoe to Tai Tuivasa to celebrate shoey at UFC 225. However, UFC CEO Dana White was pretty open to the wild idea and participated in it on one occasion.

Tuivasa has built a brand out of the popular celebration and launched his contraption 'Shoeyvasa'. During the UFC 271 pre-fight press conference, 'Bam Bam' handed a piece of his new product to White.

The UFC president celebrated the event's success by drinking through his shoe. The moment was captured on camera. Watch it below, courtesy of TheMacLife YouTube channel:


Forbidden fruit is the sweetest and practice like shoey is the perfect example. While many people may not be up for trying it out. However, watching someone like Tuivasa do it does have an element of excitement to it.

In recent times, fighters like UFC featherweight champion Alexander Vokanovski were seen celebrating their victories with shoey. UFC's middleweight king Israel Adesanya also praised Tuivasa for making shoey iconic. 'The Last Stylebender' thinks it is a unique expression of Tai Tuivasa being unapologetically himself.

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