The eyes of the mixed martial arts world are focused on Australia ahead of Alexander Volkanovski’s bid to become the UFC’s latest double-champ this weekend — and with that comes an opportunity to show off the country’s diverse culture.
Volkanovski and Australian heavyweight slugger Tai Tuivasa participated in a cultural ceremony during fight week, which you can see below, in which a tribal leader taught them a dance performance used for generations to display thanks and gratitude for the role that the animal kingdom plays in helping to sustain life, and provide warmth and food for people.
“Be a part of the oldest continuous culture in the world,” the man leading the demonstration says to a group including Volkanovski and Tuivasa in Perth.
“This is us becoming this animal,” he adds. “It’s not about trying to be this animal, we’re becoming one with it. We’ve got the most respect for these animals because of what they do for us. They give us meat for food, they give us clothes for warmth, their bones for tools, their tendons for so much more … this is an amazing animal that has been around for my family for a very long time. We want to respect that, so I want you to become this animal.”