Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights Gleison TIbau and Norman Parke went to war last night (Sun., Jan. 18, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 59 inside the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
Heading into his bout with Parke, Tibau looked to continue his gatekeeping ways at the expense of another up-and-comer. As usual, neither a win nor loss would really affect the Brazilian's position in the organization.
On the other hand, Parke had a major opportunity on his hands. If he secured victory over Tibau, it would be the biggest win of his career and separate him from the pack.
Unfortunately, he's now firmly back in the middle of the division.
Very little happened in the opening round. Parke looked to be very active with his distance striking, throwing a fairly high number of kicks and punches without much behind them. Nothing significant connected on his opponent, as Tibau either blocked or ignored his opponent's shots.
Meanwhile, Tibau was not active at all. His few punches that connected were more effective than anything his opponent landed, but the Irishman's extra volume made it close. Additionally, each of Parke's takedown attempts were stuffed, and Tibau did not attempt any of his own.
Tibau's lack of activity and Parke's lack of effective offense essentially made it an even round.
For the opening three minutes of the second round, it was a replay of the first round -- it was boring -- with one slight difference. Tibau began opening up with his low kicks, which were landing solidly.
Then, Tibau began hunting for the takedown. He complete his first blast double and then a second against the fence moments later, but Parke was able to hop back up pretty quickly. Afterward, Tibau controlled his foe against the fence for much of the remainder of the round.
Overall, it seemed the Brazilian took the middle round.
Parke continued to press forward in the final frame, which allowed his strikes to land with a bit more impact as Tibau's defenses slowed. Tibau's already low level of activity declined even more in this round, as the bulky lightweight slowed down.
The Irish fighter generally controlled the final round, as Tibau coasted and shot for occasional takedowns. However, the two turned it up in the last 60 seconds, openly exchanging to the final bell.
In short, it came down to the first round. The judges -- who had already proven just how terribly they were tonight -- made a reasonable call, as two of the three scored it for the Brazilian.
This was a classic Tibau fight. Against another up-and-comer, he went to a competitive decision in which neither fighter looked truly impressive. From reading just that short description, I could be talking about what feels like a dozen different bouts.
Such is the Tibau conundrum. I should talk about the impact on the division of this victory, but there really isn't any. Tibau will get a match up with either a fellow veteran or potential prospect in his next fight. He might win, or he might lose.
But the top 15 will remain quite unaffected, and Tibau will keep his position just outside it until his body fails him.
For Parke, however, there are consequences. He's no longer an undefeated UFC prospect and has just failed his first real test inside the Octagon. He's still got time to develop and is in position to do it, but it's now much more difficult to distinguish him for many other lightweights.
In his next bout, expect Parke to get a match that's set to put him back on track. Perhaps a bout with Frankie Perez, who also lost his bout on last night's card, would make sense for the Irish grappler.
At UFC Fight Night 59, Gleison Tibau continued his winning ways at the expense of Norman Parke. How long will Tibau continue to hold his position just outside the top 15?
For complete UFC Fight Night 59 "McGregor vs Siver" results and play-by play, click HERE.