UFC 251 Betting Preview and Free Play: Marcin Tybura vs. Maxim Grishin

by Cole Paganelli | July 10, 2020 |

UFC 251 on Fight Island is finally here and it features a heavyweight bout between Marcin Tybura and Maxim Grishin. Grishin has been called on 8 days notice as a late replacement in this fight, which is very relevant during this time. 

Oftentimes, I think that late replacements are undervalued because people assume that they haven’t been able to camp and prepare as much as the other fighter. While this is true, I think that the betting market can overvalue this at times, especially depending on the fighter who was called. In this case though, being an 8 day replacement on a card on Fight Island in these times is a lot more scary because there are definitely more fighters out there struggling to train throughout the last 3 months.

Grishin is also a light heavyweight that makes his way between both divisions. I really don’t like guys fighting up to heavyweight unless they have the body structure to walk into that cage upwards of 230 at least. 

Grishin is 30-7-2 in his career, but at heavyweight he is just 14-6 while fighting at promotions that are not the UFC. Tybura isn’t the best heavyweight the UFC has to offer, but Grishin has really not been impressive at heavyweight and that record goes to show that he is CLEARLY better as a light heavyweight. In this fight, Grishin weighed in at 220 on Friday morning, meaning that this isn’t a situation where he gets bigger to fight at heavyweight.

I assume that he actually will weigh the same in the cage on Saturday night that he would in the cage during any of his light heavyweight bouts. This is something that I really don’t like especially since he isn’t nearly as dominant at this weight class.

Tybura was once a 16-2 fighter taking on Fabricio Werdum in a main event before losing 4 of his next 6 fights. None of the 4 losses were career-ending as a huge favorite, but besides the Werdum fight Tybura was generally close to 50/50 in all of his recent losses.

Tybura is not going to inspire a ton of confidence in bettors because he can get a bit sloppy and has lost 3 of his last five fights due to punches. However, I think that Tybura is just too big for someone like Grishin. 

Tybura weighed in at 252 on Friday, which is a little bit heavier than I would like, as he seems to fight his best around the mid 240s. With COVID-19 impacting almost everyone’s camp to a degree, this is something I did expect. 

From a betting perspective, I like Tybura to win at -115 even though it doesn’t make me feel great. Tybura should be able to grab Grishin and control him pretty easily if he wants to, which is where the safety comes in. Grishin has been taken down easily by a few small 205ers so Tybura should have no issues getting him to the canvas in this one.

Spooky Express Free Play – Marcin Tybura -115

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