There’s not many people on this planet that can say they’ve fought in the UFC even once, so when Gleison Tibau battles Jamie Varner tonight at UFC 164, a pretty impressive milestone will be set. The reason being that Tibau is set to compete in his 20th UFC bout today in Milwaukee, and when he does so, only nine fighters will have competed more times in the Octagon. Yes, it’s already been nearly seven years since Tibau made his UFC debut. Crazy.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting.com, the 30 year-old lightweight was understandably asked what it means to be adding this impressive accolade to his record. Here is some of what Tibau had to say.
“This is my 20th fight in the UFC and I will use the experience in my favor,” Tibau said. “Every fight is like a debut for me. I feel that the sport is growing so much that there’s always someone in the arena for the first time, so I have to please him. I love that. Fighting 20 times in the UFC isn’t easy, but I want more.”
Of course, Tibau wouldn’t have lasted this long in the UFC if he wasn’t a winning fighter, and to date, the ATT vet has scored a 12-7 record with the promotion. In Varner, he’ll face yet another experienced and dangerous lightweight, but Tibau says the former WEC champ has some weaknesses in his game.
“He is very versatile and fast, has dangerous hands, good takedowns,” Tibau said. “But we saw some flaws in his ground game, so we will work on that to get the submission. He has a good ground game, but I will work on that to get the win and earn a chance against the top fighters. I want to show the UFC and the fans what I’m capable of.”
That’s an intriguing prelim fight. Tibau has gone 3-2 in his last five fights while Varner has put up 2-1 record since returning to the UFC last year.
UFC 164 will be hosted by Milwaukee’s Bradley Center and the fights get under way on Facebook beginning at 6:30 EST. Stay tuned to MMA Frenzy.com for all your coverage.