ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Gleison Tibau has fought just about everyone during his run in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), ranging from the likes of Nick Diaz to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
When it comes to the latter of those opponents, Nurmagomedov has concluded his incredible career with a perfect (29-0) record. However, to this day, many still believe he should be 28-1 with that lone loss coming against none other than Brazil’s Tibau.
“People are always like, ‘Man! You win this fight, you win this fight.’ Okay, thank you, thank you,” Tibau told MMAMania.com. “Everybody tells [me about] this fight because it was a very tough fight, a very close fight. I think I [hit] more punches, more takedowns, I don’t know what happened, I think I win this fight, too.
“It was a big surprise for me, a big surprise for Khabib, too,” he continued. “I talked to my coaches, ‘Tough fight, but yeah, you win.’ I remember the referee upped the arm for Khabib. Man! Everybody surprised, Khabib crying, crazy. I never forgot this time because now [he’s a] big name, tough guy, kills everybody like it’s an easy fight. This fight was very, very tough, very close.”
Tibau and Nurmagomedov met in 2012 with “The Eagle” coming out the victor by unanimous decision, all three judges scoring the bout 30-27. Admittedly one of the more awkwardly-scored fights in modern mixed martial arts (MMA) history, five of six media members scored the fight for Tibau with four 30-27 scorecards and one 30-28. The dissenting media score was for Nurmagomedov 29-28, all per MMADecisions.com. Among 1,690 fan votes, 49.9 percent were in favor of Nurmagomedov, but the most common score at 35.1 percent was 30-27 Tibau (MMAmania.com scored it 29-28 for Tibau at the time).
The 50-plus fight veteran is no stranger to closely contested bouts though, as just this past Professional Fighter’s League season, Tibau earned a victory over Rory MacDonald that attracted much criticism.
“I remember after the fight Rory talked a lot, blah, blah, blah,” Tibau said. “Man, you show my fights in UFC, so many fights were close. Similar to like with Khabib, you show my fight with Melvin Guillard, close fight too, I think I win this fight. Jim Miller, more fights, very close, I never talk. Back to training, go for next fight, no talk, no crying, blah, blah. I’m very sad because he talked a lot. I talked to Ray Sefo, PFL, to do this fight as the first fight because I know. I know this time he’ll be broke. I’ll finish [him], no more talk.”
Before Tibau can potentially put a stamp on his saga with MacDonald, he’ll have to get through Jarrah Al-Silawi this weekend (Fri., May 6, 2022) at 2022 PFL 3.
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