UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura Preview
By Joel Croichy
On Saturday, the UFC make their return to Australia with UFC Fight Night 121. The main event will feature a heavyweight collision between Fabricio Werdum and Marcin Tybura. Along with that, this main card will also include local talents and intriguing matchups from the bottom of the card to the top.
Fabricio Werdum (22–7–1) vs. Marcin Tybura (16–2)
At the top of the card, former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Werdum looks to secure another win against former M-1 Heavyweight Champion and top prospect Tybura. Werdum is a high-level jiu-jitsu practitioner who has over the years developed an impressive standup game as well. Throughout his professional MMA career, Werdum gathered twenty-two wins with half of them coming from submission and six by way of KO/TKO. Tybura always looks to score takedowns, and while standing, he does not mind trading strikes with his opponents. He compiled seven wins via KO/TKO and six by way of submission. Tybura is currently riding a three-fight win streak in which he picked up knockout wins over Viktor Pešta and Luis Henrique, and a decision victory over MMA veteran Andrei Arlovski. Werdum however, is a well-rounded MMA competitor who has all the tools to slow down opponents’ momentum and should pick up a win over Tybura. Pick: Fabricio Werdum
Bec Rawlings (7–6) vs. Jessy Rose-Clark (7–4)
The co-main event will feature a women's flyweight contest between two Australian talents, Jessy Rose-Clark and Bec Rawlings who both look to excite their home audience. Newcomer Rose-Clark previously competed at Titan FC and Invicta FC organizations and had gathered seven wins out of twelve bouts. This two-time former MMA champion has serious power in her hands and is not afraid to exchange strikes. Rawlings is looking to get back in the win column because she is coming off two consecutive losses and is 2-3 so far in her UFC career. This bout will be a close, competitive contest with Rose-Clark being the busier fighter and picking up a decision victory. Pick: Jessy Rose-Clark
Tim Means (27–8–1) vs. Belal Muhammad (12–2)
A striking showdown between power hitters Tim Means and Belal Muhammad will be the fourth fight on this main card. Means is a dangerous opponent for anyone in the welterweight division. Impressively, he has gathered eighteen wins via KO/TKO in which he stopped Sabah Homasi, Dhiego Lima, and John Howard. His upcoming opponent, Muhammad has an iron chin and shows no signs of fear with whoever stands in front of him. He is currently riding a two-fight winning streak besting opponents such as Randy Brown and Jordan Mein. This exciting matchup has all the ingredients of being a three-round slugfest with competitors looking to knock each other out. Means is a better striker who will look to overwhelm Muhammad with landing combinations and should pick up the decision win. Pick: Tim Means
Jake Matthews (10–3) vs. Bojan Velickovic (15–5–1)
Australia’s own Jake Matthews will look to thrill his home country as he makes his welterweight debut against former RFA Welterweight Champion Bojan Velickovic. Matthews is a talented, dangerous young prospect who has secured ten professional wins out of thirteen fights. Throughout his professional MMA career, he managed to leave the fight out of the judges’ hands with five of his wins coming via submission and four via KO/TKO. His first fight at welterweight will not be easy because Velickovic is a submission specialist who also has dynamic in his hands. Although Velickovic’s current record in the UFC is 2-2-1, he remains as a threat to his division. In his professional MMA run, he compiled eight wins by way of submission and four via KO/TKO. With Matthews both looking to end his two-fight losing streak and having the home crowd advantage, he should earn the victory. Pick: Jake Matthews
Elias Theodorou (13–2) vs. Dan Kelly (13–2)
TUF Nations tournament winner Elias Theodorou will battle on enemy’s soil against Dan Kelly in a middleweight contest. Kelly is a four-time judo Olympian and a top 15 ranked competitor who is looking to redeem himself from his previous knockout loss to Derek Brunson. Before losing to Brunson, Kelly was on a four-fight winning streak in which he picks up wins against Rashad Evans, Chris Camozzi, Antônio Carlos Júnior, and Steve Montgomery. Theodorou is former two-time MMA champion who showcased in his previous bouts his incredible kickboxing skills. Out of his thirteen professional wins, he gathered five wins via KO/TKO and two via submission. If Theodorou successfully defends Kelly’s takedowns and manage to keep this bout standing up, he secured the win. Pick up: Elias Theodorou
Alexander Volkanovski (15–1) vs. Shane Young (11-3)
Opening the main card will be former two-time AFC Champion and local MMA competitor Alexander Volkanovski and dangerous striker Shane Young. Both competitors will put their winning streaks on the line as they both look to make a statement in the UFC. Volkanovski is currently riding a twelve-fight winning streak, and has scored wins over Yusuke Kasuya and Mizuto Hirota since joining the UFC last year. Young will be making his UFC debut Saturday and has gathered five consecutive wins. Out of his eleven wins, Young secured five wins via KO/TKO and four by way of submission. Volkanovski will look to overwhelm Young with strikes early and should pick the win via stoppage. Pick: Alexander Volkanovski
If Werdum picks up another win, he would most likely be in line for another title shot earning a rematch against current UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic. Styles make fights, and this card has exciting match ups that should be fun to watch.