Viral movie star Summertime Tapasa goes from thwarting thief to UFC 246 – ESPN

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  • Viral movie star Summertime Tapasa goes from thwarting thief to UFC 246 - ESPN 1

    Marc RaimondiESPN Personnel Author

LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor was on 1 facet. Standing throughout from him was Donald Cerrone. It was Friday afternoon at Park MGM, the rigorous final stare-down for the blockbuster UFC 246 principal event.

In in between the two adult males and marginally powering them is a place normally reserved for UFC president Dana White to make guaranteed absolutely nothing receives bodily right before they enter the Octagon. This time, Summer time Tapasa-Sataraka was in White’s place.

Tapasa has attained all over the world notice as the star of a viral movie that displays her bodily blocking a would-be thief from using off with a speaker from Best Get, her position of employment. White saw the video, found out that Tapasa is no more time with Greatest Obtain and experienced her flown out to Las Vegas for UFC 246 struggle week.

Instantly, the 24-12 months-aged from Hawaii was front and center for the faceoff involving the most well-known fighter in UFC historical past and the winningest fighter in UFC heritage.

“It was wonderful,” Tapasa advised ESPN. “I was like, I simply cannot imagine I am below in this minute. In this distinct spot — I can’t believe that it. It is unbelievable.”

On Friday, White formally provided Tapasa a career with the UFC. UFC vice president of communications Lenee Breckenridge said White at first assumed Tapasa could perform in a safety ability, but after becoming moved by talking with her, he felt that she could be beneficial in an even better job. No aspects on a potential posture have been hammered out, Breckenridge claimed, but White plans to focus on it much more with Tapasa on Saturday at UFC 246 at T-Cellular Arena.

Tapasa has many other position possibilities subsequent the viral movie, she explained. But she is a UFC admirer and eager to go away Hawaii and go to Las Vegas if the UFC would like her. Tapasa said her “jaw dropped” when she noticed White article on Instagram about her, and she was floored when Breckenridge attained out on Fb with the provide to occur to Las Vegas for UFC 246.

“I am not gonna allow this option slide,” Tapasa explained. “This is as soon as in a lifetime.”

The incident that led to the viral video occurred Dec. 23. Tapasa was functioning in her role in asset safety at Very best Invest in — primarily a protection task — when she observed a man transferring towards an open up exit carrying a speaker he did not pay back for. Tapasa ran around, blocked the doorway, pushed the person back again and then plowed about him like a football offensive deal with when he attempted to escape.

“As before long as I noticed him jogging, the first intuition was just to halt him,” she said. “… I was not about to enable that happen. Not on my watch.”

Tapasa reported she did not do it for Best Acquire, for herself or to go viral on social media. She explained she has found shoplifting much too typically and desired to teach a lesson to the would-be robber — and everyone else who thinks it is Ok to steal. The male remaining the shop with no the speaker.

“If I really don’t cease him now, he is gonna maintain coming, he’s gonna maintain coming,” Tapasa explained. “He is gonna get much more things. It really is not coming out of my pockets. Certainly, the goods are insured. But it truly is the frame of mind that these individuals have that they consider this is Alright. I can not feel in modern society now it is like that.”

It is against Best Buy policy to get physical with a purchaser in any way. Tapasa was currently going to be leaving her career, but she said she would have been fired for stopping the male.

“Our greatest concern is always keeping our workers and clients safe,” Ideal Obtain stated in a statement to Hawaii Information Now, although it did not element shoplifting protocols for employees. “The reality is easy: Physically partaking with criminals can be perilous. None of the merchandise we sell is worthy of putting the basic safety of our employees at danger.”

Very last 7 days, after the online video went viral, White posted it to Instagram, crafting of Tapasa, “I WANT HER TO Do the job FOR ME!”

Tapasa, who calls Hawaii’s Max Holloway her favorite fighter, stated she’d be open up to any purpose the UFC sees as appropriate for her. Apart from a person, that is.

“I’m certainly not receiving in that cage,” she mentioned with a giggle. “I’ve noticed some lovers say, ‘Man, she’d be terrific in the cage.’ No, no, no. I’m correctly Alright. I am cool with just remaining a bodyguard or safety.”

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