In the final prelim of UFC Fight Night 45, two long-time veterans of the sport: Gleison Tibau (28-10) entered the UFC Octagon for his 22nd time, against Pat Healy (29-19, NC).
Gleison Tibau has been one of the more consistent fighters in the UFC, hovering around a mid-to-upper tier portion of the lightweight division, but the win to push him into title contention has continued to allude him. Tibau last suffered a knockout loss to Michael Johnson at UFC 168.
This may be a do-or-die situation for Pat “Bam Bam” Healy, coming off three straight losses in the UFC to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Bobby Green, and Jorge Masvidal. Healy has been unable to garner any momentum from his UFC debut win over Jim Miller.
Gleison Tibau executed his gameplan to perfection in the first two rounds, avoiding the exchanges by sticking and moving and landing a couple of powerful takedowns. Healy came on strong in the 3rd as he usually does, but Tibau was able to weather the storm to take the decision.
Both Tibau and Healy came out cautious in the stand up, with Tibau circling the center of the Octagon. and Healy chasing. Tibau landed a big head kick that didn’t seem to faze Healy. “Bam Bam” pushed forward but it was Tibau that continually landed heavy strikes absorbed by Healy. Tibau timed Healy coming into throw a combination with a gorgeous double leg takedown midway through the 1st. Tibau continued to land ground and pound from top position, Healy got back to his feet to end the round but without landing many strikes. 10-9 Tibau
A huge spinning back fist by Tibau started off round 2, followed by another double leg takedown into half guard. Healy made his way near the fence, using it to get back to his feet and separate. Tibau exercised good footwork to avoid getting into exchanges with Healy, sticking and moving on the feet. Healy just looking a touch slower than Tibau in the cage, as he pushed forward to strike, Tibau was not there. Healy attempted a takedown unsuccessfully, but began to find a little more success in the final minute of the round, unleashing a short flurry of strikes against the fence. 10-9 Tibau
A wild exchange began round 3, both fighters landing their fair share of punches. Healy’s strongest round is typically the 3rd, this was no exception, as he pressured Tibau against the fence. But unsuccessful in his takedown attempts, allowing Tibau to escape. Healy continued to walk forward, absorb the punches of Tibau and land more punches of his own, several times forcing Tibau to the fence. A visibly fading Tibau landed another powerful double leg slam, but could not keep Healy on the mat. Tibau finished the fight muscling Healy to the mat and remained on top. 10-9 Healy
Despite a strong 3rd round from Pat Healy, Gleison Tibau’s success in the first two was enough to win the fight and the judge’s decision. With the win, Gleison Tibau surpassed Jim Miller for the most wins in the UFC’s lightweight division with 14. While Pat Healy loses his 4th straight bout inside the UFC.
Gleison Tibau def. Pat Healy via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Full results of UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs Miller can be found here.