Can anyone stop 'Tauzemup'?

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Image: Facebook / XFC.

He's undefeated in professional bouts, the undisputed champion of two divisions and unmatched: Aaron Tau continues to dominate the XFC.

The Xtreme Fighting Championship hosted its XFC 58 event in Brisbane over the weekend, and Tau proved his dominance in the main event by successfully defending his bantamweight title against friend-turned-foe Paul Loga.

But, talking to teaomā, he wasn't impressed with his performance despite winning via TKO after elbow strikes rained down on Loga. Holding himself to a higher standard, as did his coach UFC lightweight Dan “The Hangman” Hooker after the fight, the Ngāpuhi & Ngāti Toro pro-MMA fighter says he wishs he'd executed the gameplan. 

'Lowest lows'

"I just wanted to prove I'm another level above the competition, I obviously didn't get to show that a lot because it ended up being a dogfight. We all know that I can win a good scrap but I wanted to make it look like a high-level professional bout and prove that I deserve to go to the big leagues.

“When it gets to the big leagues, these guys are so good that the margin for error is so small. For me to not even be able to hit any of the things that I was trying to hit that night was not doing myself any favours.”

Mixing a bit of a chaotic fight camp with an opponent who is also his friend is what Tau calls “you can’t hit the highest highs without the lowest lows”.

Channelling Tūmatauenga

But a win is a win, and he is looking for his next opportunity to be the one where he can showcase a high-level calibre of fighting.

It’s safe to say that Tau is the king of the XFC itself, with seven wins, undefeated in his pro career and 10-straight wins carrying on from amateur, not to mention both champions of the bantamweight and featherweight divisions.

“That realm of Tūmatauenga is not foreign to us, it is a part of us. For me to be Māori and go to the highest highs and remind the world who is the greatest warrior race on the planet… [I’m] blessed.”

It must raise the question: Can anyone stop 'Tauzemup'?

“Line them up or knock them down,” he says. “I don’t really care who I fight on any day. Just send them my way. If they’re keen, I’m keen.

“Where is the challenge? Everyone keeps saying that my opponents are not very good, but they are. They’re the top of the league. I just make them look like they’re not very good. " 

The bantamweight and featherweight champ of the XFC is itching, begging for anyone to step up, whether that be in XFC or even the UFC.