Tai Tuivasa weighs in before UFC Adelaide bout

Tai Tuivasa and Marcin Tybura will go head-to-head in the main event of UFC Fight Night 239 this weekend.

The bout was originally scheduled for UFC 298 in February but was later moved to this UFC Apex fight card as the main event.

Tuivasa vs. Tybura is one of 13 fights happening this Saturday night. For predictions on all other fights, be sure to check out our UFC Predictions page.

Betting Odds

Tai Tuivasa is a slight betting favorite up against Marcin Tybura, who is also available at – odds before the UFC Fight Night 239 main event.

  • Tai Tuivasa: -125 (BetUS)
  • Marcin Tybura: -105 (BetUS)

Tuivasa vs. Tybura Predictions

We’ve got three expert predictions for Tuivasa vs. Tybura below!

Braeden Arbour

Tuivasa, although one of the heavier-handed heavyweights, is not very big for the weight class. He does weigh in at about the limit but in terms of height, reach and frame he has difficulty against Heavyweights who can land with as much power from further away with a more natural athleticism for carrying that weight.

Tybura weighs in lighter than Tuivasa but he will hold a three inch reach advantage and a better technical kicking game when it comes to the head and body, and just being able to touch Tai where Tai cannot easily return will afford him opportunities afterwards once frustration begins to set in.

Tybura has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and has a very good top-pressure game. He likes to shoot snatch double legs against the cage to topple his opponents to one side before slowly flattening them out. Tuivasa has never taken an opponent down in his UFC career, and defending takedowns is a constant focus leading up to any of his fights.

It is important to note, however, that Tybura does have a history of neglecting his grappling at crucial times, instead seemingly falling in love with his striking. Tybura also finds his most successful shooting when he is moving forward and sticking his opponents between himself and the cage, so battling for octagon control is the first hurdle and an especially difficult one against Tuivasa.

Tuivasa is going to want to be the forward-moving fighter, stick Tybura on the fence, and force that already erect posture even more straight to expose the body and chin. With the shorter reach Tuivasa does find issues boxing in space, however he throws absolute bombs when he corners other fighters. He does a good job of landing, hammering low kicks, and working the body to come upstairs or vice versa. He also lands brutal elbows when his opponents shell up or look to clinch defensively.

With all due respect to Tybura, this is a bit of a step down in competition from the last three losses Tuivasa has suffered. Cyril Gane, Sergei Pavlovich, and Alex Volkov are all much truer heavyweights than Tybura and have floated higher amongst the rankings.

Most importantly, in terms of style, Volkov and Gane utilize long technical striking and footwork essentially tailor-made for short, stocky power punchers, and Pavlovich for Tuivasa was like using fire to fight a larger fire. Even coming off of three losses, Tuivasa can take some confidence in knowing he is fighting a smaller and more hittable fighter who stands more upright and squared off to meet his exchanges.

Looking to get back in the win column after so long, and knowing that this is the best stylistic matchup he has seen in a while, Tuivasa needs to seize this opportunity without a doubt. I do believe that he will do this by coming out with authority, and take center ring quickly, which should disrupt Tybura’s ability to find any easy takedowns too early. Although this should be a competitive fight, I do lean towards Tuivasa to make a successful comeback.

Pick: Tai Tuivasa to win (-125 at BetUS)

Michael Pounders

Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa, the second fighter on this card with the nickname “Bam Bam,” is the #9 ranked heavyweight in the UFC. Following a 5-fight winning streak from 2020-2022, Tuivasa has lost 3 straight. An inconsistent but always dangerous power puncher with a fan-friendly style and personality, Tuivasa’s success often comes down to three primary factors.

First and least predictable is his training. Tuivasa has shared that early in his career, he took training lightly and would often show up ill-prepared to fight. He leaned on his natural speed and power to win fights but would lose to more technical and prepared fighters. Then, as he climbed the rankings, Tuivasa again shared that he started training more seriously, with championship aspirations. Other than his recent losing streak, which took him out of title contention for a while and may impact motivation, there is no reason to doubt his training. Concerningly, though, there is also no way to know what happens behind closed doors.

Second, Tuivasa’s success can be out of his control, often dependent on his opponent. If he is given a toe to toe slugfest, Tuivasa’s chin and power give him the advantage over most heavyweights. But, against fighters who stay safely at range, crash distance to crowd “Bam Bam’s” power, or who grapple can force Tuivasa into a mixed martial art fight rather than into a rock’em sock’em robot match. Tuivasa hasn’t shown a consistent backup plan or skillset capable of winning.

Third, and lastly, is Tuivasa’s notorious power. Tuivasa hasn’t won a fight in a method other than knockout since 2018. Tuivasa has some of the best power in the division with the most power; but, if he can’t get the finish, he hasn’t shown, recently, that he can win the fight.

Marcin “Tybur” Tybura, 38, is the polar opposite of Tuivasa. Where “Bam Bam” is a deceptively quick and enormously powerful puncher with a non-existent grappling game, “Tybur” is a slower, sometimes undersized, primary wrestler with a minimal striking game.

Starting with his size, Tybura often weighs in around 10-15 pounds under the heavyweight limit. Normally, this wouldn’t be a considerable note; however, because Tybura’s game is focused on takedowns, being the smaller man in the cage often means he needs better technique and timing to get the mammoths he faces in the cage to the mat.

Additionally, Tybura’s subpar striking coupled with his slightly smaller frame likely explains his chin issues. When he’s faced larger and more power-focused strikers, Tybura has been cracked, dropped, and put out 5 different times. But, when Tybura can successfully close distance and get the fight to the mat, he has excellent top control, heavy ground and pound, and the cardio to grapple as long as necessary.

In a fight with such starkly contrasting styles, the pick’em odds are, on the surface, accurate. However, looking deeper into the fight, I question whether Tybura can safely enter and shoot on Tuivasa without getting caught on his way in. He shoots from so far away on his single and double legs that Tuivasa should see it coming and be able to counter with a knockout blow. Moreover, if Tybura decides to attempt clinch takedowns- a likely safer option- I’m not sure he has the technique necessary to get Tuivasa down. Tybura’s body lock takedowns from the clinch are strength and size based attempts.

Meanwhile, Tuivasa’s takedown defense is rooted in size and strength. In the clinch, where both men rely on physicality, I lean with Tuivasa to be able defend or even break away. Now looking at how Tuivasa could win, most of his knockouts come in round 1 or round 2 and most of his losses come in round 3 or later. Additionally, most of Tybura’s knockout losses come in rounds 1 or 2. So, when looking to play Tuivasa, I’m only looking at him in rounds 1 or 2. Reduce the bet size, increase the odds, and still bet on the most likely outcome.

Pick: Tuivasa to win in round 1 (+165) or round 2 (+600) at BetUS

Joe Pounders

Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa, a 14-fight UFC veteran, is one of the most entertaining fighters in the organization. From his fan-friendly, knockout dominant style to his well-known “shoey” celebration, Tuivasa is a favorite of many.

While many people want Tuivasa to perform well and re-enter the top 5 conversation, he has fallen on tough times, having lost his last three fights. In those fights, over-reliance on power and an inability to transition to an alternative, skill-based game plan resulted in his defeat. A supporter of his would note that the fighters he faced have been top of the division from a talent lens, and an inability to find success is an inherent nature of fighting in the heavyweight division, particularly with his old-school style. But, the fact that he has struggled, and, his success is so reliant on landing early power begs to question the sustainability of his fight game, particularly when many heavyweights are evolving in style.

Having a non-power-reliant style is certainly attributed to Marcin Tybura. He too, being a veteran of the sport, has had his ups and downs as a UFC heavyweight, but the difference lies in the repeatable nature of his fights, given he is a clinch-wrestler type opponent compared to a heavy-hitting power puncher. This style is quite effective in the heavyweight division, particularly when facing lower-end opponents, and Tybura has cleaned up when facing the lower level. But, when facing higher-end challengers, he too has failed to secure victories.

The issue with Tybura’s fight game is the over-reliance on his opponent needing to be bad in the clinch. When they cannot get off the cage, Tybura is quite good at maintaining control, and, can even secure a takedown to dominate a round. But, if an opponent is skilled at maintaining distance and/or has sizeable power, then the slow-footed, poor defensive movement of Tybura plagues him from finding success.

In this fight, where a heavy-handed power puncher in Tuivasa squares off against a hittable clinch-wrestler in Tybura, the test will be if a punch can land before control is had against the cage. Whoever can implement their bread-and-butter skill first will likely cruise to a victory.

This fight will likely be quite lopsided one way or another. The level of confidence I have in either man securing a victory is minimal, as each has greatly struggled against the other’s style. So, when a situation such as this occurs, I prefer to look at who has the quicker ability to find success, and the answer to that question is Tai BamBam Tuivasa.

Because Tuivasa will look to land his power early in the fight to avoid being clinched to a loss in conjunction with Tybura being there to hit, I am electing to pick him by round 1 KO at a nice price of +270.

Pick: Tuivasa to wn by first-round knockout (+270 at BetUS)

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