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Far North fighter ‘Tauzemup’ drawing inspiration from atua Māori

Te Ahikaa Trotman, Te Rito Journalism Project

City Kick Boxing Gym’s rising MMA star, Aaron Tau, will be fighting in the Arsenal X Hybrid Fight Series this Friday - and his success may help pave the way to the UFC.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Tau, known as” Tauzemup”, is competing against Cody Sione in Friday’s AX2 event, which is a fight where three rounds use different mixed martial arts styles.

“We just move through those codes effortlessly,” Tau says. “When we do have a game plan, there’s certain weapons that we can and can’t use and that’s how we dictate how to get advantages over people.”

“Tauzemup” is a nickname that was given to him from his friends due to his rough nature as a child.

“Growing up in the Far North you run into a bit of trouble, so I had this idea that I could ‘toes’ anyone up and then the name just stuck.”

Tau has carried his atua Māori and tupuna with him throughout his career, as shown by the mataora that he got late last year.

“Te ao o Tūmatauenga was always apart of my āhua, being Ngāpuhi and ngā uri o Rāhiri.

That lives through me. That’s my understanding, their essence lives through me.”

“My realm is the realm of Tūmatauenga, that’s where my spirit likes to sit. I come back to Rongo every time I go to that place, that’s my word to use, go and find that place. We all have a place to exist.”

The 30-year-old Tau is being coached at City Kick Boxing by UFC stars including Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker, and says he’s making a push for the UFC himself.

“I’ll definitely be cracking the door of the UFC open some time soon but I have to focus on what’s in front of me. The first stop is the most important, go and get the treasures of war and bring them back to our people because that’s the whole reason I’m doing this.”

Tags: MMA

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