Undefeated Moldovan heavyweight Alexnader Romanov faced his toughest test yet when he squared off with Poland’s Marcin Tybura at UFC 278.
The massive pair capped off the preliminary card in Salt Lake City, and it wasn’t long before “King Kong” looked to topple Tybura with a takedown.
In the opening minute, “Kong” hoisted up his opponent and slammed him down; when Tybura worked to a knee, Romanov hooked the leg with his own and pulled it out from under him. Romanov then began peppering Tybura with punches, right hand after right hand landing.
Still, much like Godzilla, Tybura would not go away. But when he did regain his footing, Tybura had to contend with some heavy knees to the thighs. Then, the indignity continued, with Romanov hoisting him up and slamming Tybura again. This time, Romanov trapped him by the fence and laid in with more right hands.
Tybura would survive the opening round, though it was a completely lopsided affair, and possibly a 10-8 for Romanov. In the second, Romanov went right back to it, clinching up with Tybura along the fence. The only positive news was that Tybura didn’t get taken down, and instead made it back to center, where he could at least stand and trade with Romanov — with both men landing. Romanov’s next takedown attempt was a bit wild, and easily stuffed. Just as it looked like Tybura might be coming on, he landed low, halting the action. Or so it seemed. Replays showed the kick was on the belt line, and the ref immediately restarted the affair. Romanov then slipped off a high kick, and Tybura got on top. He took the back late, only for Romanov to reverse just as the horn sounded.
A lot was riding on the third round, as Tybura had likely done enough to win the second.
Round three again found Tybura able to stop Romanov’s takedown attempts, at least in the early going. Tybura found success with his low kicks, and ripped the body. Romanov’s posture, drooping forward with his hands low, made it clear he was exhausted. When he tried to close the distance, Tybura pushed him of. Romanov then did a little showboating to try to lure Tybura in, but that didn’t fly with the veteran. Tybura pumped his jab in the last 10 seconds, and Romanov charged forward with a superman punch at the buzzer. Come the result being read, two judges scored it for Tybura, while the third had it as a draw.
Official Result: Marcin Tybura def. Alexander Romanov by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)