Tybura upbeat on UFC Fight Night Manila, vows to finish opponent

Nissi Icasiano
Tybura upbeat on UFC Fight Night Manila, vows to finish opponent
Marcin Tybura seeks a jaw-dropping finish as he is set to face Derrick Lewis in the co-headliner of UFC Fight Night Manila 2

MANILA, Philippines – Polish behemoth Marcin Tybura aims to make a lasting impression when he sets foot on Philippine spoil for the first time on October 15, as he squares off with American knockout artist Derrick Lewis in the co-headliner of UFC Fight Night Manila 2.

Accepting an offer to face a No.10-ranked heavyweight like Lewis in the Philippines was an easy decision to make for the 30-year-old Polish because of the blockbuster reception that the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization received in its first trip to the country in May 2015.

“I’m feeling great about it,” he told Rappler. “To be a part of the first UFC heavyweight fight in Manila is exciting. I think even if this will be the second UFC event in Manila, there will still be a great atmosphere. I’m so happy to be going there.”

Tybura, who only made his UFC debut earlier this year, sees it a privilege serving as the co-featured attraction to the 5-round featherweight clash between MMA legend BJ Penn and Ricardo Lamas.

“I’m so happy to be a part of the main card, and to be the co-main event is a great thing for me. I’ve had 7 to8 main events in my career, so this is not new to me. But I’m very happy to be in the co-main event this quickly in my UFC career,” he said.

Tybura is fresh from his first-round knockout of Viktor Pesta in August, turning the lights off on the Czech heavyweight with a head kick in the first round.

The 30-year-old Polish was a mainstay in the Russian MMA promotion M-1 Global before directing his career-path to the UFC.

Despite losing his first UFC appearance by bowing down to Timothy Johnson via unanimous decision in April, Tybura made up for his disappointing defeat and attained a statement-making win over Pesta.

Meanwhile, Lewis is coming off a split decision victory over MMA veteran Roy Nelson in July.

The 31-year-old American’s conquest of Nelson extended his winning streak to 4 bouts, which earned him an entry to the Top 10 of UFC’s heavyweight divisional rankings.

Lewis rose to prominence in his brief run with Legacy Fighting Championship, where he captured the promotion’s heavyweight title at the expense of Jared Rosholt.

“The Black Beast” was offered a UFC contract in 2013 after successfully defending the Legacy Fighting Championship heavyweight belt against Ricky Shivers.

Lewis, who owns a 7-2 UFC record, made his triumphant Octagon debut in July 2014 by knocking out Carlos Augusto Inocente Filho in the first round.

The 3-round heavyweight encounter between Tybura and Lewis is expected to be UFC Fight Night Manila 2’s barnburner as both men are known for their brutal finishes inside the MMA cage.

Tybura holds 6 knocks triumphs and 6 submission victories, while Lewis has won 14 of his 21 professional outings by way of knockout.

“I don’t think this will go to the decision. Thinking about our styles, he finishes his opponents and I have around 8 first-round finishes in my career. I’m expecting this to finish sooner than later,” Tybura said of the match-up.

Holding a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Tybura believes that his grappling pedigree could expose the belittled ground game of Lewis.

“I’m pretty sure my ground game is better than his. I don’t think he’ll want to fight on the ground. He hasn’t really showed his grappling skills, but I don’t want to say I’m more well-rounded. I’ll think about it after the fight,” he stressed.

As he is nowhere near the weight class’ Top 15 rankings, Tybura asserted that a decisive win over Lewis could elevate his stature in the UFC heavyweight standings.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for me. I don’t know if it really will get me there or not, but I will be close to the Top 10,” he said. – Rappler.com

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