UFC Fight Night 121 Betting Breakdown: Marcin Tybura vs. Fabricio Werdum

Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at the main event of UFC Fight Night 121 as former champion Fabricio Werdum takes on Marcin Tybura.

Marcin Tybura (Record: 16-2, +275 Underdog, Power Ranking: C+)

A winner of his last three fights, 32-year-old Polish heavyweight Marcin Tybura is one of the fastest rising fighters in the division. The eight ranked heavyweight is coming off the biggest win of his career when he defeated former champion Andrei Arlovski by decision in June 2017.

A former M1 Grand Prix Champion, Marcin Tybura began training in MMA in 2006 and quickly developed an interest in pursuing it professionally. Tybura was a highly touted prospect in the weight class because of his all-around skill set. Tybura is averaged sized for the division, but his movement and speed is more fluid and consistent with a light heavyweight. He has a varied striking attack utilizing a lot of kicks as well as punching combinations. He has limitations with his striking power, but his technical abilities on the feet are above average for the weight class. While he’s not a natural wrestler, he has a solid offensive grappling game and is dangerous from top position. He has six submission victories in his career,  so opponents look to stand with him as opposed to test him on the mat.

Fabricio Werdum (Record: 22-7, -335 Favorite, Power Ranking: B+)

The former UFC Heavyweight Champion enters Saturday’s fight off a quick submission victory over Walt Harris at UFC 216 in October. Werdum has only won two of his last four fights, but his two losses have been to champion Stipe Miocic and top five heavyweight Alistair Overeem.

One of the most improved strikers in MMA over the past couple years, Fabricio Werdum has done a lot of work with renowned striking coach Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA and those results have proven out with him winning the heavyweight title back in 2014. Werdum has worked in a volume style approach, but has also done a great job of working in strikes to the body to wear down his opponents. Like Overeem, Werdum has made a concerted effort as he’s aged to be more conservative defensively as his chin has become a larger liability. Overall, he’s only absorbed 2.19 significant strikes a minute; a very low number compared to his heavyweight contemporaries. Werdum combines his improved striking prowess with the best jiu jitsu skill set in the history of the heavyweight division. He’s a two time ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion and he has shown that in the cage with exactly half of his 22 wins coming by submission.


In by far the biggest fight of Marcin Tybura’s career, he headlines a UFC event for the first time as he takes on Fabricio Werdum. Tybura’s skill-set actually resembles that of Werdum quite a bit. They are both volume first strikers on the feet as opposed to focusing on power shots. They each are at their best on the mat where they can control, dominate, and finish opponents. Experience is a major differentiation in this fight as Werdum has faced the best fighters in the world and has been a world champion. Tybura is coming off a major win over Arlovski, but he did have his struggles in that bout. If this goes to the ground, Werdum will have a significant advantage. Even with Tybura’s skill set on the ground, he’s going to struggle with Werdum who is the best grappler in the history of the division. With that said, I think Werdum will struggle to get the fight to the ground and this will mainly be a stand up contest. In a standing contest, it should be fairly competitive as both fighters will offer some variety for their opportunity. As time wears on in this bout, I expect Werdum to begin to pull away. Tybura has shown a decent gas tank for the division, but Werdum has some of the best cardio in the weight class and will compile an expanding significant strike edge as the rounds pass. I think Tybura will show well in this fight and prove that he can compete with some of the division’s best, but he will need a fight like this to show him what his deficiencies are before he’s able to beat the top fighters in the weight class. I do not recommend a pre-fight bet on this bout, but will be keeping an eye on live lines as the price on Werdum could be more favorable after the opening round.

Written by Jay Primetown

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