UFC Vegas 88 predictions, picks: Tuivasa vs. Tybura, odds, best bets

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UFC Vegas 88 should be an interesting fight card with 14 fights to sort through.

Last week’s card was a disaster thanks to Marlon “Chito” Vera’s impossibly impressive chin that robbed us of a KO in the second round.

O’Malley wound up victorious, but the props lost, and we moved on to the UFC APEX Center, where plenty of veterans face prospects once again.

The poor results last week hurt the overall record quite a bit, down to 7-13, with profits down to just 3.91 units on the year.

UFC Vegas 88 will begin at 4 p.m. Eastern, with the prelims and the main card beginning at 7 p.m. ET all on ESPN+.

UFC Vegas 88 predictions

Tai Tuivasa vs. Marcin Tybura

Tai Tuivasa is today’s version of Derrick Lewis. His power is something to behold; he’s witty, and he does little else.

But even the power-hungry fighters are able to bonk their way to victory despite having minimal secondary talents.

That isn’t the worst skill set against a fighter like Marcin Tybura,

Tybura has been knocked out many times in the past, including by Tuivasa’s aforementioned comp.

If Tybura gets past the opening moments of the second round, he would easily look -300 in this fight.

Getting there will be easier said than done, considering his knockout losses to Augusto Sakai, Shamil Abdurakhimov, and Lewis.

Bet Tuivasa by KO/TKO at +110 on DraftKings, and hedge during round two if Tybura survives.

Pick: SGP: Tuivasa by KO/TKO in under 3.5 rounds (+120, DraftKings)

Gerald Meerschaert is a historically great grappler. Zuffa LLC

Gerald Meerschaert vs. Bryan Barbarena prediction

Another interesting bout is two veterans matching up in a fun fight that seems destined to end inside the distance.

Meerschaert is best known for being flat-line KO’d by Khamzat Chimaev when he was on a seemingly possible run in 2021. Since then, the UFC’s all-time leader in submissions has actually put together some impressive wins.

The two’s most recent common opponent is Makhmud Muradov, a fighter who easily beat Barbarena by grappling, but Meerschaert submitted it.

Gerald Meerschaert and Bryan Barberena face off. Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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Two of Barbarena’s last three fights (all losses) have come by submission, and I expect more of the same here.

Pick: Meerschaert by submission (+130, BetRivers)

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