Luis Henrique Barbosa de Oliveira – 2½ (+110) +140
Marcin Tybura – 2½ (-130) -160
Tybura was scheduled to tussle with Luis Henrique at UFC 208 in February, but Brazilian was pulled from the fight by the New York Sports Athletic Commission due to concerns about corrective eye surgery the MMA fighter had undergone about a year prior. Henrique was replaced with Justin Willis – not the defender who plays for the Carolina RailHawks in the North American Soccer League, but a former World Series of Fighting mixed martial artist who in turn was declared medically unfit to fight on the eve of UFC 208. In Willis’s own words, “my body shut down during the weight cut and the UFC doctors wouldn’t clear me to fight.” What’chu talkin’ ’bout Willis? Tybura was paid his fight purse/”show” money, but he was nonetheless p.o.’d., what with him going through training camp, agreeing to a short-notice opponent switch, and making weight. “When I found out, it was something I couldn’t believe,” Tybura told MMAjunkie. “I was at the medical exams, and they told me the fight in canceled. I wanted to cry.” Hey, maybe you and Rashad Evans can throw a pity party together. The Polish brawler is 14-2-0 and lands 3.02 strikes per minute (38.6% accuracy).
Luis Henrique is the UFC betting underdog in this matchup. KLB has won his last two fights by submission and is 2-1 in the UFC. As mentioned above, the Brazilian was slated to go head to head with Tybura at UFC 208 before NYSAC “surprised me by saying I couldn’t fight due to my surgery,” as Henrique told MMA Junkie. “They claimed that because of the type of incision, and the way it heals, it could come out of place.” Like when Vader’s eye popped out of its socket in 1990? Why, just take off your mask, push the eye back in, and hold it in place with your eye lid. Good thing KLB is no hurry. “Right now, I’m a guy who’s getting there,” he said. “Getting there slowly, taking one step at a time. I’m the youngest in the division” at 23 years of age. So he just went back to training and waiting for a new booking which came in the form of the UFC 209 preliminary card. And the good news just kept coming “because it was the same game I’d been training for, and I’m ready to fight (Tybura). I think our games match up well. He’s a grappler, and so am I. (I want to) put on a show in there, and I’m certain I’m going to come out with the win.” that’s not quite the picture the UFC betting odds paint, but then again fans who bet on UFC must be acquainted with the concept of an upset.