Tuivasa Vs. Tybura Betting Odds, Breakdown, Prediction

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight hitters Tai Tuivasa and Marcin Tybura will clash TONIGHT (Sat., March 16, 2024) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 88.

At 30 years of age, Tuivasa is one of the younger ranked contenders at Heavyweight. The benefit of that youth is that Tuivasa has the time to develop and undergo that rollercoaster ride that is being a developing Heavyweight. The downside, however, is that Tuivasa enters this main event contest having been battered in three straight fights.

That’s not great for development.

Tybura, conversely, has been pretty consistent in recent years. Since Feb. 2020, he’s only come up short opposite Tom Aspinall and Alexander Volkov — pretty top-notch competition. He’s also notced seven wins in that span, proving himself a rarity as an active ranked Heavyweight.

Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds and strategic keys for each athlete:

UFC Fight Night: Aspinall v Tybura Weigh-in

Tuivasa Vs. Tybura Betting Odds

UFC 271: Derrick Lewis v Tai Tuivasa

How Tuivasa Wins

It’s no secret how Tuivasa wins this fight: by hitting Tybura really hard.

With 13 knockout wins in 14 fights, that’s obviously the default “Bam Bam” game plan. He’s comfortable trading big shots in the pocket, has a good eye for counters, and is generally pretty durable in a firefight. Tuivasa doesn’t have the deepest technical game necessarily, but his low kicks are an interesting and powerful weapon.

Tuivasa cannot afford to be taken down here. It’s really that simple. Tybura has the exact style of grinding wrestling game that has plagued Tuivasa in the past, and he doesn’t gas out if able to play his game. Fortunately, it’s been a couple years since wrestling really cost him the win, but Tybura is also the best grappler he’s faced in a while.

Tuivasa has to keep his fundamentals sharp: establish the jab, punch the mid-section, stay off the fence, and be sure to set up his powerful low kick. Tybura doesn’t have an overwhelming blast double; he has to work into the clinch then wrestle. If Tuivasa makes him walk through fire to do so, the Aussie will give himself lots of chances to find the big one.

How Tybura Wins

Tybura is a well-rounded Heavyweight veteran. He can wrestle well, win fights via submission, and kick his opponents in the head. Resilience and conditioning have also played major roles in the Polish fighter’s success.

Opposite of the blurb above, Tybura really needs the takedown! He is thoroughly outgunned on the feet in terms of raw power. However, I do think there is a path for success here: his snappy front kick. Alexander Volkov and Ciryl Gane both made Tuivasa’s life miserable with body kicks, and if nothing else, Tybura could use that weapon to herd Tuivasa into the fence.

Body pokes aside, Tybura wins this bout by taking Tuivasa down, getting him tired, and then dominating from top position. The second Tuivasa is anywhere near the fence, I’d like to see Tybura chaining takedowns like his life depends on it.

UFC 293: Tuivasa v Volkov

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Tuivasa Vs. Tybura Prediction

I never love predictions that hinge entirely on a fighter not getting taken down.

That said, Tuivasa appears to have done the work in elevating his takedown and grappling game from abysmal to fine. Of equal importance: Tybura is 38 years old and has never been a dominant athlete. Consequently, Tuivasa should have a significant edge in speed and maybe even strength, both of which are helpful in avoiding the takedown.

MMA Math isn’t a great concept, but their shared fights against August Sakai are still helpful. Sakai couldn’t take down Tuivasa, who picked him apart and knocked him out. Conversely, Tybura couldn’t get Sakai to the floor, and he subsequently got beaten up and stopped.

All in all, it sounds like Tuivasa is going to get enough time standing to start landing shots, and it doesn’t take many for “Bam Bam” to make an impact.

Prediction: Tuivasa via knockout (+110)

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 88 On ESPN+

HEAVYWEIGHT HOEDOWN! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to its APEX venue in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., March 16, 2024, with a titanic tilt between Australian power puncher and master of the Shoey, Tai Tuivasa (14-6), and longtime 265-pound keeper of gates, Marcin Tybura (24-8), across five rounds of heavyweight action. In UFC Vegas 88’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event, Tar Heel “Butcher” Bryan Battle (10-2) looks to win his third straight at the expense of Congo “Ninja” Ange Loosa (10-3) in a high-stakes Welterweight scrap.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 88 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 88: “Tuivasa vs. Tybura” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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