5 Defining Moments: Marcin Tybura

By: Brian Knapp
Jun 2, 2021

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Though his stay in the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been marked largely by hit-or-miss results, Marcin Tybura has managed to court relevance in the heavyweight division for the better part of five years.

“Tybur” will risk a four-fight winning streak—his longest period of sustained success since he started his career 12-0—when he confronts Walt Harris in the UFC Fight Night 189 co-main event this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Tybura has compiled an 8-5 record across his 13 appearances inside the Octagon. The 35-year-old Uniejow, Poland, native boasts 14 finishes among his 21 professional victories, nine of the first-round variety.

As Tybura makes final preparations for his three-round collision with Harris, a look at five of the moments that have come to define him:

1. Regional Steppingstone

Tybura captured the M-1 Global heavyweight championship when he submitted Damian Grabowski with a north-south choke in the M-1 Challenge 50 headliner on Aug. 14, 2015 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Grabowski conceded defeat 88 seconds into Round 1. Tybura did not waste time with his countryman. He executed a quick takedown, established his superiority on the mat, worked his way to the north-south position and cinched the fight-ending choke. Tybura made two successful title defenses—he submitted Denis Smoldarev at M-1 Challenge 53 and was awarded a technical knockout over Ante Delija at M-1 Challenge 61—before he signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2016.

2. Bittersweet Breakthrough

An effective clinch game, power punching volleys and a stout chin carried Timothy Johnson to a unanimous decision over Tybura in a three-round UFC Fight Night 86 showcase on April 10, 2016 at Zagreb Arena in Zagreb, Croatia. Johnson drew 29-28 marks from all three judges, as he spoiled the promotional debut of the former M-1 Global champion. After a competitive first round, Johnson found another gear in the second. There, he tore into Tybura with rights and lefts, cut the Polish import near his right eye and shrugged off a takedown. Johnson at one point snapped back his head with three consecutive rights. To his credit, Tybura did not go away. He struck for a takedown in the third round and rattled Johnson with a head kick, leaving significant damage to the American’s right eye in his wake. However, the finish he needed did not materialize.

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3. Primetime Affirmation

Well-timed takedowns and a crushing top game spurred Marcin Tybura to a unanimous decision over Andrei Arlovski in the UFC Fight Night 111 co-main event on June 17, 2017 at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Scores were 29-28, 28-27 and 29-27, all for Tybura. The Polish upstart nearly finished it inside the first round, where he executed a takedown off a caught kick, moved to the back and advanced to full mount before assaulting Arlovski with ferocious hammerfist-laden ground-and-pound. The Belarusian weathered the onslaught, returned to his feet and had Tybura reeling with power punches late in the round. He carried the momentum into the middle stanza but ran out of gas down the stretch. Tybura landed another takedown two minutes into Round 3, applied his ground-and-pound once again and maintained position through a few desperate scrambles.

4. Overreaching Ambition

A two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist, Werdum kept his place in line near the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight division when he took a three-round unanimous decision from Tybura in the UFC Fight Night 121 headliner on Nov. 18, 2017 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. All three cageside judges sided with Werdum: 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46. Tybura simply could not match the Brazilian’s output. Werdum kicked effectively to the legs, body and head while operating behind a penetrating jab. He consolidated his efforts with multi-punch flurries upstairs and occasional knee strikes to the head and body. Nothing Tybura tried seemed to give Werdum pause, as the Polish upstart was foiled in his first main event assignment.

5. Relentless Resilience

Tybura withstood considerable punishment before putting away Greg Hardy with punches in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 183 heavyweight feature on Dec. 19, 2020 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The former M-1 Global champion slammed the door 4:31 into Round 2. Hardy attacked the body and head with equal aplomb in the first round—during one sequence, he connected with six or seven right hands in succession—and appeared to have everything in order. Tybura had other plans. The Syndicate MMA-trained Pole moved Hardy backward with punches and pressure, executed a takedown and climbed to half guard against the former National Football League Pro Bowler. Fatigued and out of his element, Hardy wilted. After delivering a few knees to the body, Tybura cut loose with punches and hammerfists. Hardy was unresponsive, even as referee Dan Miragliotta hovered above urging him to defend himself. Soon after, Miragliotta moved in to call for the stoppage, the setback snapping Hardy’s two-fight winning streak. Advertisement
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