The bantamweights battled on Facebook, but it was a UFC veteran named Gleison Tibau who stole the show with a dominant submission victory in his fight on the UFC 130 preliminary card.
The battle of late replacements brought the biggest finish of the three preliminary bouts on Facebook with Gleison Tibau defeating fellow Brazilian Rafaello Oliveira by rear naked choke in the 2nd round in their lightweight battle.
Originally, Tibau had stepped up to face Bart Palaszewski when his opponent Cody McKenzie was forced off the card with an injury. A couple of weeks later it was Palaszewski who went on injured reserve, and Oliveira stepped up for him.
Tibau, who has shown flashes of greatness in a few of his past fights, was the much crisper striking in his bout with Oliveira, landing good combinations and a short punch that brought the fight to an end.
After a scramble on the ground, Tibau tagged Oliveira with a quick, short punch and after he dropped to the mat, it was the American Top Team fighter who swarmed for the finish. Tibau pounded away at Oliveira, taking the mount and then taking his back. Just when Oliveira was waiting for another heavy shot to come reigning down on him, Tibau switched it up and slipped his forearm under his opponent’s chin.
Within a few seconds, Oliveira knew he had no where to go except to sleep so he tapped out, giving Gleison Tibau the win.
“I’m training a lot of striking,” Tibau said about his punch that essentially brought about the end of the fight. . “I’m getting prepared for my title, I’m coming.”
A close fight for all three rounds produced a close result with Michael McDonald coming out on top of a split decision over Chris Cariaso.
At 20 years of age, Michael McDonald has been called a prodigy and the future of the bantamweight division, but he had a fight on his hands at UFC 130. A back and forth battle on the feet ensued between McDonald and Cariaso for the majority of the fight.
Cariaso was landing solid leg kicks while McDonald was trying to time a perfectly placed punch to his opponent’s chin. McDonald tagged his opponent hard twice during the fight, staggering Cariaso, which may have made all the difference when it came down to the judges’ scorecards.
McDonald also managed a couple of takedowns during the fight, although he did have to fight off an omo plata attempt from Cariaso in the final round. It was McDonald’s accuracy with his hands and repeated takedowns that likely swayed the judges to his favor.
“I’ve got to let this win sink in a bit,” McDonald said. “I really want to eat some ice cream, get some rest and think about what’s next.”
The young Californian now moves to 13-1 in his career, and now 3-0 while McDonald has been under the Zuffa banner between the UFC and WEC.
Brazilian Renan Barao moved his incredible winning streak to 26 straight on Saturday night with a unanimous decision win over former WEC champion Cole Escovedo.
The fight was really all about Barao’s cage control and takedowns, which Escovedo simply had no answer for. Time and time again, Barao took Escovedo down and while he didn’t do a lot with his ground work, he stifled any offense from his opponent.
The third round saw the most action with both fighters opening up on their striking, and Barao even mixed things up with a spinning back fist and kick, but eventually went back to his wrestling and put Escovedo on his back again. The overwhelming ground work was just too much and Barao won a unanimous decision in his UFC debut.
“I’m very happy with this performance,” Barao said. “It’s been a dream come true to be here in the UFC and tonight, I accomplished a huge goal of fighting in the Octagon.