Gleison Tibau will compete in the UFC for the 21st time in December when he takes on TUF runner-up Michael Johnson.
Runner-up of The Ultimate Fighter 12, Johnson earned the biggest win of his career in August when he thoroughly dominated popular lightweight Joe Lauzon. It was such a statement that UFC president Dana White referred to it as "one of the most lopsided, one-sided beatings you'll ever see in the UFC."
Prior to the victory, Johnson was struggling to find his place inside the Octagon. In consecutive fights, the Mo. native gave up losses to considerable underdogs Myles Jury and Reza Madadi, which dropped his UFC record to 4-4.
Tibau is one of the largest lightweights in MMA, cutting upward of 35 pounds to make weight. Having gotten weight cutting down to a science, Tibau enters the cage well above 180 pounds. In 20 UFC appearances, the Brazilian has never missed weight.
Over the course of his 20 trips to the Octagon, Tibau has defeated like likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Jamie Varner and Jeremy Stephens.
Although he is a respected member of the Zuffa roster, losses to Evan Dunham, Jim Miller and Khabib Nurmagomedov have Tibau stuck in somewhat of a gatekeeper role. A loss to an up-and-comer like Johnson would cause irreparable damage to his hopes of one day fighting for UFC gold.
On the other hand, should Johnson be able to upset the human takedown machine, his career would be at a high point and "The Menace" would be knocking on the front door of the lightweight rankings.
UFC 168 takes place on Saturday, Dec. 28, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It is currently headlined by a pair of championship rematches. In the main event, Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva do battle for the middleweight title one more time, while UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey takes on challenger Miesha Tate in the co-main event.
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