UFC Fight Night: Tuivasa vs. Tybura Predictions

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UFC Fight Night 239 takes place on Sunday (AEDT) at the APEX Facility in Las Vegas, United States – and we’ve got our UFC predictions for all the fights below, and you can join the action at the best betting sites Australia has to offer!

UFC Fight Night: Tuivasa vs. Tybura Predictions


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Tai Tuivasa vs. Marcin Tybura Prediction

It’s been a rough time for Tai Tuivasa in the Octagon lately, having lost his last three fights in a row, with two coming via KO and the latest by submission. Now he will attempt to reverse his fortunes against Marcin Tybura, who had won 7 or his previous 8 fights prior to a 73 second TKO loss to Tom Aspinall last June.

This isn’t the first time that the 30-year-old Tuivasa has stared down the barrel of three-losses-in-a-row as the same things happened back in 2018-2019.  On that occasion he turned things around impressively though, going on to win his next five fights with a serious of big KO and TKO victories.

Through the ups and downs Tuivasa has remained a fearless slugger with some of the heaviest hands in the division. Despite his beer-swilling antics and less-than-athletic physique he actually moves surprisingly well for his size and also delivers solid leg kicks too. His belief in his own ability to land a knockout blow does see him being drawn into last-man-standing style shootouts,  which is always a particularly risky proposition at heavyweight, and so some KO losses along the way have been inevitable. And Tuivasa doesn’t really have a plan B as he doesn’t have a whole lot to offer beyond his stand-up game.

The 38-year-old Tybura on the other hand is reasonably well-rounded for a heavyweight. He doesn’t have much in the way of athleticism and certainly isn’t wielding the same kind of fearsome knockout power as Tuivasa, but he has good cardio and applies a steady, workmanlike approach on the feet, backed up by solid clinch-work and wrestling, with his submissions and ground-and-pound both being a threat on the mat.

Tybura has had a weakness to heavy-handed strikers in the past though, and coming off a TKO loss I think if he’s not able to get Tuivasa down early in the fight then it’s going to be a bad night for him, with ‘Bam Bam’ finding a home for big strikes early to deliver a KO finish.

Prediction: Tai Tuivasa to win by KO in Rd1.

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Bryan Battle vs. Ange Loosa Prediction

A former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Bryan Battle has gone on to produce a solid 5-1 record in the UFC so far and now comes up against Ange Loosa, who lost in his UFC debut back in 2022, but has since earned back-to-back victories.

TUF winners don’t get much shine these days, but nevertheless the 29-year-old Battle has settled into life in the UFC well and managed to perform better than expected. Perhaps part of that could be attributed to a drop down to 170lbs after his first couple of fights in the UFC as he’s looked quicker and more confident since, striking with more conviction and reaping the rewards with a 44 second head kick KO of Takashi Sato and a 14 second knockout of Gabriel Green.  Meanwhile last time out he served up a reminder that he’s still a capable grappler too with a submission finish over A.J. Fletcher. He also has good cardio and solid durability, but given that he’s not yet faced a ranked opponent and found the going considerable tougher during a decision loss to Rinat Fakhretdinov in late 2022, there’s still questions left about where Battle’s ceiling is at 170lbs.

With that in mind it’s perhaps surprising he’s not getting a chance to prove himself against someone in the rankings yet, and instead faces the 30-year-old Loosa instead. Loosa is a strong, muscular welterweight, but will be giving up 3″ in both height and reach to Battle here. Loosa is a capable striker who also looks to use his wrestling too. It’s worth noting that despite his physical presence he’s actually a bit of a decision machine and it’s been over seven years since he last registered a stoppage win. Still, that’s not to say he doesn’t land with respectable power and he’s also yet to be stopped in his career by either strikes or submission.

Two fairly solid all-rounders here then, but it feels like Loosa is still figuring things out, whereas Battle has become a more refined, effective fighter. I’m not convinced Battle will get another finish here, but he’ll keep a good pace throughout and I favor him to get the better of the striking and hold his own on the mat if required to emerge with a decision victory.

Prediction: Bryan Battle to win by decision.

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Ovince Saint Preux vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu Prediction

Ovince Saint Preux has lost his lost three fights in a row and now goes up against Kennedy Nzechukwu, who had been on a three-fight winning streak prior to his TKO loss last time out.

Less than a month from his 41st birthday OSP is likely clinging onto his spot on the UFC roster by his finger-tips given that he’s coming off a six-month suspension for using a tainted supplement, has been finished via strikes in three of his past four fights and is just 14-12 overall in his long Octagon run.

Truth be told it’s hard to find compelling reasons why he is still being kept around other than name recognition. Once in a blue moon he can pull an explosive, fight-ending strike out of the bag and he does have a surprising knack for successfully completing the rare ‘Von Flue Choke’ on the mat. However, beyond that OSP is a fighter who has failed to make the most of his athletic potential and  has had a habit of turning in uninspired, low-output performances over the years, made worse by his chin diminishing, leading to KO’s in his last two losses.

With that in mind the 31-year-old ‘African Savage’  Nzechukwu looks like a challenging opponent for him. OSP is a big 205lb’er, even taking a fight at heavyweight not so long ago, and has an impressive 80″ reach, yet Nzechukwu is still 2″ taller and has 3″ more reach over him.  Nzechukwu isn’t the most technical striker, but he will look to use the jab from range and as you might expect given his physical presence he does hit very hard. He will also look to mix in some wrestling at times and does have solid takedown defense too.

Nzechukwu can be a bit of a slow starter, but unlike OSP he will actually build as the fight goes on and as the younger, fresher and hungrier fighter I think he’ll up his intensity and confirm that the veteran’s durability is now a serious problem by KO’ing him in the 2nd round.

Prediction: Kennedy Nzechukwu to win by KO in Rd2.

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Pannie Kianzad vs. Macy Chiasson Prediction

Back in 2018 Pannie Kianzad and Macy Chiasson fought each other in the final of TUF 28, with Chiasson emerging victorious via submission. Coincidentally, in the five years since both fighters have not only gone on to put together 5-3 runs in the UFC, but have also each lost two of their last three fights.

The last time they fought it was up at featherweight, but this time it will be at bantamweight, and that’s a potential issue for the 32-year-old Chiasson as she actually failed to make weight for a 145lb fight against Raquel Pennington a few years ago, while she’s fought at 146.5lbs and 140lbs since. That’s understandable to an extent as she has a big frame for bantamweight and at 5ft 11″ will have a 4″ height and 3″ reach advantage over Kianzad here. And she uses her size to try to bully her opponents in the Octagon, pushing forward aggressively to swarm her opponents with punches and dirty boxing in the clinch. However, in their first fight Chiasson’s biggest asset was actually her ground game and that led her to a submission win.

Also 32-years-old, Kianzad has good boxing technique but little in the way of power, and in fact you’d have to go back a decade to find her last win via TKO.  Still, the upside is that she’s proven to have good cardio and will keep working for the full 15 minutes, while she can mix in some grappling into her offensive gameplan.

There’s definitely got to be a question mark here whether Chiasson will make weight here, and even if she does the question then becomes how much will what’s sure to have been a tough cut have taken out of her? With that in mind, the longer the fight goes the more it seems to favor Kianzad, but with Chiasson’s early aggression and size advantage I can see her once again finding success in the clinch and on the mat on her way to delivering another second round submission victory.

Prediction: Macy Chiasson to win by submission in Rd2.

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Gerald Meerschaert vs. Bryan Barberena Prediction

Gerald Meerschaert has lost three of his last four fights as he now prepares to face a fellow veteran in Bryan Barberena, who is coming off a three-fight losing slump.

Barberena made his first appearance at 185lbs last time out, which didn’t seem like the best idea at the time as he wasn’t exactly lean at 170lbs and seems a little portly and undersized for a middleweight. That will be apparent on Saturday night as he’ll be giving up an inch in height and 5″ in reach to a much more natural 185lb’er in Meerschaert. At his best the 34-year-old Barberena is a pressure-heavy, rugged brawler with very good durability who gained a little notoriety a couple of years ago after getting the better of a couple of late-career veteran stars in Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown. However, his skill-set is fairly limited, with his defensive wrestling being a particularly weak point.

The 36-year-old Meerschaert is a wily veteran who can find himself outmatched on the feet at times, but makes up for that by having excellent submission skills, which have accounted for a whopping 27 of his of his 35 career victories. He doesn’t have the best chin, but he is doggedly determined and if in trouble clinch-work and well-timed takedowns can suddenly swing the fight in his favor.

This looks like a favorable match-up for Meerschaert. He’ll be the naturally bigger man and I don’t think he’ll have too much trouble getting Barberena to the mat when he chooses to do so. With Barberena’s forward pressure I think that’ll lead to him being brought down early and from there Meerschaert’s on a completely different level grappling wise and should have little trouble securing a first round submission finish.

Prediction: Gerald Meerschaert to win by submission in Rd1.

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Christian Rodriguez vs. Isaac Dulgarian Prediction

Christian Rodriguez heads into this fight off a three-fight winning streak in the UFC, while Isaac Dulgarian picked up a 1st round TKO victory in his Octagon debut last year.

Rodriguez has performed solidly in the UFC so far, but two failures to make weight in a row have taken some of the shine off his recent wins and prompted a move up to 145lbs this time out. The 26-year-old is a pressure-based boxer with good cardio who has also shown good composure both on the feet and on the mat, where he generally does a good job of finding his way back to his feet.

The 27-year-old Dulgarian not only has less UFC experience, he’s actually only six fights into his MMA career overall. Based on that short sample size Dulgarian has looked good though, having finished all of his opponents inside the first round so far. He has strong wrestling ability and is ruthless with his brutal ground-and-pound attacks once he has his opponents on the mat, while he can also switch things up with submission attempts too in his hunt for a finish. The catch here is that we’ve not seen how he’d cope if his early exertions don’t produce the desired results and he has to go into the later rounds.

As with his fight against Raul Rosas Jr, Rodriguez may well be looking to just ride out the early storm here and then capitalize later. I think Dulgarian fares better here than the youngster did though and will continue to find success with his wrestling as the fight goes on.  Rodriguez seems like the kind of fighter that’s not going to be finished easily though, so I’ll say Dulgarian has to ease up a bit on the intensity here and go the full three rounds this time to earn his victory.

Prediction: Isaac Dulgarian to win by decision.

UFC Fight Night 239 Prelims

(Predicted winners in bold)

Natan Levy vs. Mike Davis
Josiane Nunes vs. Chelsea Chandler
Jafel Filho vs. Ode Osbourne
Jaqueline Amorim vs. Cory McKenna
Joshua Culibao vs. Danny Silva
Charalampos Grigoriou vs. Chad Anheliger

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About Ross Cole

Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process. You can read more of Ross's work at MMAInsight.com.