UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura Preview
A preview of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card set to take place in Sydney.
Updated: Nov. 15, 2017 • 8:19 PM ET
Fabricio Werdum (left) is trying to get back to the top of the heavyweight division.
The UFC heads back to Sydney, Australia for a heavyweight showdown between a former champion and a fighter who continues his attempt to climb the rankings.
At 40 years old, you’d expect Fabricio Werdum to be slowing down, but he continues to win inside the Octagon. Werdum is 8-2 in his most recent UFC stint, and he’s the promotion’s former heavyweight champion. His only losses in his last 10 fights are to current champion Stipe Miocic (for the title) and a controversial majority decision loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 213. He rebounded, however, in October at UFC 216 with a quick submission victory over Walt Harris.
Despite his age, Werdum’s No. 2 ranking is predicated upon the fact that he continues to be one of the most dangerous fighters in the heavyweight division. He took the fight against No. 8 heavyweight Marcin Tybura this Saturday on short notice, filling in for Mark Hunt, who was pulled from the fight due to medical concerns.
The list of fighters Werdum has defeated includes Hunt, Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Minotauro Nogueira and Fedor Emelianenko. Nevertheless, Werdum can’t take Saturday night off, as he’ll have his hands full with a hungry fighter on the rise in Tybura.
Tybura is on a three-fight win streak and hoping that a win against a legend can land him a top spot in the top 5 of the heavyweight rankings, and possibly a title shot.
“It’s really special for me to fight a Top-2 fighter in the world already in Fabricio,” Tybura told MMAjunkie in October. “I recognize (he’s) one of the best heavyweights in the world – even the best, because he beat Fedor (Emelianenko) in his prime time, and he beat Cain (Velasquez) at a time when he was unbeatable.
“This guy has something special. I know he’s good. This is the top. That’s what I wanted to do when I came into the UFC, and now it’s happening. So I’m just happy.”
Tybura added, “I never talk about what the future is after the fight. I actually like to be focused on my task, which is to fight Fabricio Werdum.
“But, you know, he was a champion like a few months ago. So me beating him would be, I think – nothing less than ask for a title shot.”
The fight will be Tybura’s first bout against anyone ranked in the top 10.
UFC Fight Night 121 features a diverse group of fighters from around the globe, including six competitors from Australia. Other countries represented will be Poland, Serbia, Canada, Iran, Guam and the Philippines.
Rest of the main card
Women’s flyweight fight: Bec Rawlings vs. Jessica-Rose Clark
Welterweight fight: Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
Welterweight fight: Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic
Middleweight fight: Elias Theodorou vs. Daniel Kelly
150-pound catchweight fight: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Shane Young
Flyweight fight: Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
Lightweight fight: Nik Lentz vs. Will Brooks
Heavyweight fight: Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
Lightweight fight: Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims
Women’s strawweight fight: Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
Flyweight fight: Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
Heavyweight fight: Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek