UFC Vegas 28: Walt Harris vs Marcin Tybura
By: Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)
UFC Vegas 28 is a breath of fresh air after a week off. Last week, the MMA degenerates had no UFC, no PFL, and no Bellator to watch or bet on. Quite frankly, it was torture. UFC Vegas 28 is a nice little free card with fighters who are explosive finishers and it will be an absolute banger. I cannot wait to get back to the action and the co-main event should be fireworks as long as it lasts.
Walt Harris (+150)
37 years old
13 – 9
100% finish rate
13 wins by KO/TKO
The Big Ticket is a fighter who we all love, both inside the cage and outside the man is fantastic. Walt is incredibly strong and athletic for a big man; he brings an aggressive kill or be killed style to the UFC. Walt has an insane 100% finish rate with every single one of his wins coming by way of KO. Walt felt a sense of urgency after his daughter’s passing and came straight back to the UFC after and made the mistake of stepping into the UFC’s deep end while battling the emotions of his recent loss and it did not end well for him. Walt has a lot of gas left in the tank and after an appropriate lay off he is returning to the big stage looking to get that elusive win.
Marcin Tybura (-170)
35 years old
21 – 6
67% finish rate
8 wins by KO/TKO
Marcin Tybura is a man who has thrived in the COVID era. Well-rounded, strong at heavyweight, Marcin has all the skills you need to be a professional fighter and generally has good fight IQ in the cage. Over the past year, Marcin has fought four times which is by far the most active he has ever been in his career and he won all 4 fights. This is a massive turnaround from his 2019 campaign where Marcin was barely hanging on to a UFC roster spot. Marcin has fought his way back into being relevant and his most recent win over Greg Hardy has some hype behind him.
Walt Harris is a man who I have faded to great success in the UFC. I am on record advising bettors that there is no such thing as a happy ending in the sport of MMA. The fact is, we all wanted to see Walt win after he lost his daughter. The MMA fandom was united in their desire to see him succeed and dedicate the fight to her memory, but it wasn’t meant to be. Walt Harris fought Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov who are two of the best heavyweight fighters in UFC history. Overeem is a legend and Volkov is a future title challenger and these men cannot be overcome with simple willpower and Walt was ill-equipped to face them.
What I would like to point out, however, is the evolution of Walt Harris. Walt rushed Alistair Overeem with an offensive assault that would’ve killed lesser men and only after the biggest adrenaline dump of all time did Alistair Overeem turn the tables and take advantage of a completely exhausted Harris. What we saw from Harris in his fight against Volkov was an attempt at being far more technical and patient. We saw improvement both in his cardio and his IQ the problem was nobody expected the monster that Volkov has become to show up (except for us).
Walt Harris has taken six months off to learn and grow as a martial artist and possibly more important to process what has happened to him and his family. What he returns to on Saturday is an opponent who was on a 1-4 run in the UFC against the relevant competition. I have never been a fan of Marcin Tybura and I believe he has been the beneficiary of a hard time when the UFC had to take anybody and everybody they could find and throw them into the cage. Tybura’s recent four-fight win streak is over extremely questionable and green competition allowing his well-rounded and veteran skillset to shine. When Harris faces Tybura on Saturday, he will have the speed and athleticism advantage, and let us not forget that Tybura has been KO’d four times already in his professional career.
I believe that Harris will find his way back into the win column on Saturday and if he fights smart the way he attempted to take on Volkov he can win by knockout or by decision. I sincerely hope that he gets his chance to honor his daughter in the cage on Saturday and I honestly might cry a little with him when he does. The wrong fighter is favored here and Walt has the best path to victory. I will take that + money line all day. Let’s do this Walt.