UFC 130 Results: 5 Fights That Would Prove Gleison Tibau Is No Gatekeeper
Not only did Gleison Tibau pick up his ninth win this evening, defeating Rafaello Oliviera by submission on the preliminary undercard of UFC 130. He also earned a submission of the night bonus, winning $70,000.
Many consider Tibau (23-7) to be a gatekeeper, but the only losses of his UFC career have been to top fighters. He hasn't lost to any up-and-comers in the division, and he has defeated most and lost some very close decisions.
His appearance on a main card of a upcoming Fight Night event could be an appealing attraction if the opponent is right.
These are the five best options for the Brazilian lightweight fighter.
No. 5: Joe Lauzon (19-6)
If Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon makes it past his opponent on June 26, a fight with Gleison Tibau would make for a great matchup between two fighters who have been in the organization for a long time.
Both made their UFC debut two months apart in 2006 and haven't met yet. It's about time they do, and it's the right time to make it happen.
Lauzon will be fighting Curt Warburton at the next UFC on Versus show, and Lauzon is coming off a loss to George Sotiropoulos at UFC 123.
His overall record inside the Octagon is 6-3, and his only losses are to Sotiropoulos, Kenny Florian and Sam Stout.
No. 4: Takanori Gomi (32-7)
Japanese fighter Takanori Gomi hasn't had the best success as of late inside the UFC. He has gone 1-2 in the biggest organization and is 3-4 in his last seven bouts.
What makes this fight interesting is the fact that both present unique and difficult challenges for each other.
Gomi is known for his vicious knockout power while Tibau is known for his powerful wrestling and top control. Tibau also has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Gomi needs a win, and it's the type of motivation that makes for great fights. It's important Tibau gets a win if he plans on fighting for the title any time in the future.
No. 3: Evan Dunham (11-2)
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Despite dropping back-to-back losses, Evan Dunham is still one of the fastest rising prospects in the lightweight division.
It's just going to take a little extra time to reestablish his momentum he had going 4-0 in his first four bouts inside the UFC.
Dunham recently lost to Melvin Guillard. Tibau also has a loss to Guillard, but it was a highly controversial decision loss that many thought he had won.
Both are under 30 and are hungry to get some victories under their belt, especially Dunham.
If Tibau doesn't want to be considered a gatekeeper, he might as well take on one of the best prospects in the division and win.
No. 2: Donald Cerrone (14-3)
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Former WEC title challenger Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone recently made his UFC debut in February, defeating the very tough Paul Kelly. It won Fight of the Night honors.
Cerrone's next bout will come against Vagner Rocha, who is replacing an injured Mac Danzig.
This is a very intriguing matchup, and it's also one that could be the breakthrough performance Tibau is looking for.
He has had trouble trying to break into the MMA mainstream for most of his career, falling short when he was given the chance.
A victory over a exciting and popular fighter like Cerrone will help increase his fanbase.
No. 1: Sean Sherk (36-4)
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Tibau was originally supposed to fight the former UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk at UFC 104 but pulled out after suffering an injury.
"The Muscle Shark" eventually returned but not against Tibau. He fought Dunham and won a very close split decision.
This is the perfect matchup for two of the division's strongest fighters. Sherk has a overwhelming strength advantage over most of his opponents, especially in the wrestling department.
What makes this fight interesting is the wrestling. Can Sherk take down the bigger opponent in Tibau? I think it's time to find out.