When Marcin Tybura makes the walk this weekend at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Spivac, he’ll look to accomplish something that no man has ever done in the Octagon – finish Blagoy Ivanov.
Submitting or knocking out Ivanov would be a major accomplishment for Tybura, who has nothing but admiration for the skills and toughness that his opponent brings to the table.
Ivanov has only been beaten four times in his 24 career professional fights, three by decision and once by submission, and all at the hands of top tier competition (Augusto Sakai, Derrick Lewis, Junior Dos Santos, Alexander Volkov). Adding a win over Ivanov would be the perfect start to 2023 for Tybura, who is determined to make a statement with his performance.
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“I based everything I did in this fight with the goal to finish the fight. We came up with a gameplan and we improved everywhere. Everything is there in my mind,” Tybura told UFC.com. “He’s a tough guy. Some might say he’s a lower ranking than me, but I don’t think he’s way behind these guys in the top 10. I see Blagoy as a very tough guy who’s really hard to finish and that’s my biggest challenge.”
Tybura has approached every second of this training camp for Ivanov with the intention of finishing the fight as quickly as possible. That maximum effort in training is something that Tybura is confident will translate when the two heavyweight stalwarts collide.
Tybura is also excited that this fight is taking place inside the comfortable atmosphere of the UFC APEX. Tybura is 2-0 in the APEX, with both wins coming by TKO.
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“I like the UFC APEX because it’s really calm, and you can focus on your task and it’s great,” Tybura said. “But on the other hand, I love fans and the atmosphere. Either way, I’m happy. My last fight was with fans and right now it’s great to be here in the UFC APEX.”
This fight with Ivanov also comes at a time where all the eyes are on the heavyweight division. Francis Ngannou is no longer on the throne and the vacant title is up for grabs when Jon Jones faces Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 in just over a month.
It’s an exciting time for heavyweights and Tybura wants to make a splash while the spotlight is on.
“It’s mixing and it’s good. We lost one star in Francis Ngannou but we gained an even bigger star in Jon Jones,” Tybura said. “It brings attention to the division, and I love how everything is mixing up and there are new matchups every week.”
Tybura believes that even though he slipped up against Alexander Volkov in 2021, his victory over Alexandr Romanov proved that he still has what it takes to make a climb to the belt.
“I challenged a rising prospect. Everyone saw him as someone who could be in the top very soon. I love it, I made a statement that I’m on a run for the title, too. I was such an underdog in that fight, and it was great,” Tybura said. “Oh, it was a very important win and I’m ready to get another one this weekend.”
So, does Tybura really think he’ll be the first one to finish Ivanov in the UFC or is that promotional talk?
He pauses, before cracking a wry smile to go along with his response.
“I will try as hard as possible, that I can promise.”
UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Spivac took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 4, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!