Tenured veteran and number 11th ranked heavyweight, Marcin “Tybur” Tybura (22-7; 9-6 in the UFC), will take on the surging 13th ranked heavyweight prospect, Alexander “King Kong” Romanov (16-0; 5-0 in the UFC).
Prior to a close defeat his last time out, Marcin Tybura was riding a 5-fight win streak and was finding his stride in a deepening division. Meanwhile, Alexander Romanov has faced little adversity thus far in his professional career, given he has only gone to a decision once over his undefeated streak.
Knowing both men employ a similar style accompanied by each having aspirations of fighting the top of the division in the processable future justifies this fight being a high-stakes affair with FOTN potential!
Knowing Romanov is undefeated with 15 of 16 finishes coupled with Tybura coming off a loss, it comes to little surprise to see “King Kong” – Romanov – priced at a -416 favorite.
Marcin Tybura is one of the most consistent fighters in the heavyweight division. Each time he enters the octagon, he looks to clinch-wrestle his way to victory.
To see this elected style, one need not look any further than his last fight against a talented striker, Alexander Volkov. While Tybura failed to secure the victory, he did rack up a whopping total of 16 takedown attempts; but, and the reason why he failed to secure a close win is that he failed to land a single successful takedown. This may come as a surprise at first glance, but when knowing his style of wrestling is pressuring against the cage, and then, gradually working his way to the mat reasons why he had trouble against a fighter who does a fantastic job using balance and postering to stay on his feet.
Rather than attacking the wrestling ability of Tybura, I will rather analyze the intelligence he employed as the fight ensued. More specifically, Tybura failed to successfully – or honestly – analyze that he would be unable to secure a takedown. Failure to do so resulted in him gassing himself out at the end and losing a close fight. While I understand his striking is less than impressive, his movement subpar, and his power inconsistent, I do believe Tybura should have transitioned away from a takedown approach to one where he lands close dirty elbows and short-range hooks – both of which he has in his fight arsenal.
Normally, I would not analyze a specific fight to the degree I did just now, but, I do believe the failure to implement an alternate game plan to wrestling is the key in this fight. This is because Alexander Romanov is the clear-cut better wrestler – 69% to Tybura’s 32% with landing a takedown. Continually, Romanov has shown the ability to continually wrestle without cardio issues given he has an adjusted 6.46 takedown average over 15 minutes. So, Tybura will need to show greater trust in his hands, and more importantly, an ability to find success with striking in the pocket if he desires to secure an upset victory.
The above section illustrates who Alexander Romanov is – a dominant wrestler. This wrestling is perhaps unlike any you have seen in the UFC given he will spear his opponent from a long-range knowing his speed and natural strength will allow him to get the fight to the mat contrary to needing a beautiful wrestling shot. With that said, Romanov does have technical skills, both with wrestling, and most importantly, when the fight hits the mat.
On the mat, Romanov is highly aggressive and even more effective. Whether it be landing “King Kong” punches from the top position, taking the back of his opponent, or simply shoving his forearm into the neck of his opponent, Romanov is a problem on the mat.
When the fight isn’t on the ground, for however long that may be, Romanov is an improving striker. There are two key things aiding his advancement on the feet: one, he is losing weight and becoming a much faster athlete, and two, he can land with success given his opponent is always thinking about when the first – or next – takedown will be attempted.
The only issue that has popped up when analyzing Romanov as a fighter is if his opponent can match the speed, athleticism, and grappling – defensive grappling being the most important – then he has a hard time transitioning to an abnormal game plan. Doing so is quite rare, but if indeed done, the lack of elite competition accompanied by rarely being tested does reason Romanov having trouble if he is not completely more dominant than his opponent.
I foresee Romanov doing what he normally does in the octagon but in a more seasoned manner. What I mean by this is I foresee Romanov establishing his striking early in the fight knowing Tybura will be thinking about the takedown and because Romanov will be me much faster fighter.
Once the striking is properly established, Romanov should be able to get the impressive 82% takedown defensive artist of Tybura somewhat easily, and once there, his top position should be way too much given Tybura is not used to being on his back. Whether it be a ground and pound victory or submission, I anticipate Romanov keeping his impressive finish rate intact.
Bet: Romanov to win inside the distance (bet now at MyBookie)