“Shoey!”

That is the name of Tai Tuivasa’s post-fight celebration. The UFC Heavyweight would continue the tradition, brutally knocking out Greg Hardy at UFC 264. This time it would be on top of the Octagon cage, surrounded by 20,000 fans. 

The moment was simply iconic.

The custom shoe, which beer was chugged out of, was created by no other than Las Vegas shoemaker Jordon Diab.

Diab had been approached by UFC boss Dana White to design custom shoes for popular influencers SteveWillDoIt and Kyle Forgeard. Diab had a new favorite customer after White was impressed with his prior work which was making ‘Howler Head’ custom shoes for a friend.

Steve and Kyle would be gifted handmade Air Jordan 1s during fight week. This was in association with Happy Dad Hard Seltzer, which was drunken by Tuivasa post-fight.

After ‘Bam-Bam’ got the win, he would converse with cageside fans, The Nelk Boys, who provided the goods for the epic “shoey” to take place.

Tuivasa was on top of the world.

The same could be said for the shoemaker, Diab, who was watching the event from home. The scene was set and the image of Tuivasa drinking out of Diab’s handmade Air Jordan 1 lows made waves, appearing on many media outlets last weekend.

“It was probably the most insane thing that ever could have happened,” Diab told MMA Island. “I was watching the fights with some close friends and we were all pretty locked in trying to spot a glimpse of the shoes on foot, but as soon as Tai had the shoe in his hand I knew it was mine. I was literally shaking, my friends were going nuts, my phone was blowing up. I get chills just thinking about it.”

“[It meant] everything. People see the final product but don’t know how much truly goes into reconstructing a pair of sneakers from scratch. So for them to be part of such a viral moment on one of the most watched pay-per-views in UFC history was just incredible.”

Steve and Kyle, being the marketing geniuses they are, Diab believes the two had laced up a plan for the shoey to happen with their own beer and one of their shoes being present in the shot. It worked to perfection.

“There’s a reason Steve and Kyle are as successful as they are. Part of that reason is how well they market themselves and their brand.”

Diab reconstructs shoes from scratch and sources all of his materials, cuts, glues and stitches everything himself. The passion for shoemaking began when COVID-19 first put Las Vegas in lockdown in 2020. Diab told MMA Island he had wanted to try it out for years and the pandemic opened the door for him, in terms of finding time to approach the art.

With a spotlight on himself and his shoes, thanks to a certain heavyweight Aussie, Diab looks to become a full-time shoemaker in the near future.

Diab handmaking shoes.

By Chris De Santiago

Founder of MMA Island, journalist at LowKick MMA and MiddleEasy, formerly Asian Persuasion MMA.

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