UFC Vegas 88: Marcin Tybura Chokes Out Tai Tuivasa in Entertaining Main Event

Marcin Tybura and Tai Tuivasa, UFC Vegas 88
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 16: Marcin Tybura of Poland punches Tai Tuivasa of Australia in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 16, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

For the second time in the month of March, it was heavyweights closing the show, as Tai Tuivasa took on Marcin Tybura in the main event of UFC Vegas 88.

For Tuivasa, a popular Australian who had briefly broken into the division’s top 5, the bout was a chance to snap a three-fight skid.

The pair traded kicks early, locked up, and traded some strikes as well, with Tuivasa firing elbows. Within a minute, Tybura was cut open, bleeding from the side of the head. Tybura fired a head kick, and after a few more exchanges, closed the distance for a takedown. It took some effort — maximum effort perhaps — but Poland’s Tybura eventually got Tai off his feet and planted him on his back.

On the ground, with half the round still remaining, Tuivasa moved to his knees, but gave up his back in the process. Tybura began raining down lefts and rights, with Tuivasa eating several dozen unanswered strikes, though he at least partially blocked a good percentage of them.

What he couldn’t block was the eventual finish, not from strikes but by submission. In danger of punching himself out, Tybura switched to a rear-naked choke. Tuivasa gave the ref the thumbs up, but wasn’t fighting the hands or pressing up the elbow, instead trying to just last it out. He couldn’t, and eventually Tai would try to push on the elbow — but it was too late, and Tuivasa went out!

For Tuivasa, that’s four straight losses, including Tybura and Ciryl Gane among others. Tybura meanwhile is open to “anyone in the top 10” moving forward.

Official Result: Marcin Tybura def. Tai Tuivasa by technical submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 4:08