Marcin Tybura open to Jairzinho Rozenstruik matchup, but prefers ‘higher ranking’ fight

Marcin Tybura wants to keep climbing the charts.

The Polish standout can expect to see a slight boost in his ranking after scoring a first-round submission of Tai Tuivasa on Saturday in the UFC Vegas 88 main event. Though Tuivasa’s power punching had Tybura in trouble early, Tybura countered with his wrestling and dominated the fight on the mat before securing a rear-naked choke for the win.

Tybura’s efficient victory drew a variety of reactions from social media, including a mention from fellow heavyweight contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who appeared to suggest a future matchup.

At the evening’s post-fight press conference, Tybura was asked about the possibility of fighting “Bigi Boy.”

“I kind of feel like I’ve always been a fighter who never rejects a fight, but I’m not the one [asking] exactly for him. But if the UFC wants to do it, I will agree,” Tybura said. “I’d rather have someone higher ranking.”

Tybura and Rozenstruik have twice been in line to fight one another. They were first scheduled to fight at a February 2022 Fight Night event, then rescheduled for UFC 287 the following April. Unfortunately for Tybura, an illness forced him to withdraw from the contest and the bout is yet to be booked a third time.

Comparing Rozenstruik and Tuivasa’s styles, Tybura said that a fight with Rozenstruik could play out in similar fashion to his UFC Vegas 88 win, but he still understands why the matchup could happen.

“The thing is I a little bit owe it to Jairzinho, because our fight was scheduled a year ago or so and I have to reschedule it, and then I pulled out from the fight because I had some health issue, so that may be the fight,” Tybura said. “I will have to do it to make it right for him.”

Tybura bounced back from a disappointing loss to Tom Aspinall this past July and has now won three of his past four fights. The heavyweight veteran also won as a UFC headliner for the first time.

It was touch-and-go for Tybura early on and he admitted that he may have been too adventurous on the feet at times, something he may want to avoid in a future fight with Rozenstruik.

“I actually applied everything we were working on with my team,” Tybura said. “We were planning to feel his power a little bit in his standup and whenever it would be too risky, just go for wrestling and grappling and it was a little bit too risky because of that cut and everything.

“Once the cut happened, I just knew I had to rush it forward because I didn’t know how bad it is and it might stop me from fighting, so I rushed forward to take him down and worked really hard on the submission because I just wanted to finish him with the punches, but his head is very hard. He didn’t care about any of my punches from the back, so coach started yelling to switch to a submission and I did.”

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