Round 1: Tibau takes the center of the cage. Varner moving laterally on the outside. Varner lands two inside leg kicks. Varner paws with his jab. Tibau looking to counter strike. Varner goes to the body with a left hand. Tibau lands a right hand. Varner rushes in and lands a left hook. Varner leaps in with a left hand and Tibau lands a counter right hand. Tibau misses with a flying knee. The pace slows a bit. Varner moves in and Tibau lands a right hand counter. Tibau powers forward and secures a takedown. Varner moves to the cage and gets back to his feet. Tibau stays on him and has his back standing. Varner works to separate Tibau’s hands. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Tibau.
Round 2: Varner takes the center of the cage to start the second round. It’s now Tibau moving on the outside. Varner leaps in and lands a knee to the body. Tibau takes the fight to the ground but Varner applies a guillotine choke. Tibau fends off the submission attempt and moves to half guard. Tibau working to better his position. Varner rolls and Tibau has his back. Varner rolls and is mounted. Tibau lands hard shots to the body of Varner. Varner gives up his back and then rolls back over. He’s still mounted by the Brazilian. Varner rolls again and Tibau takes his back. He flattens Varner out and lands punches. Varner rolls but Tibau stays in the mount position. Varner hangs on. Tibau lands a series of short right hands. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Tibau.
Round 3: Varner rushes forward and lands a combination. Varner inches forward. He lands a right hand. Varner lands to the body with a right hand. Tibau times Varner moving forward and takes him down. Varner quickly gets back to his feet and circles away. Varner lands to the body. He’s winging shots. He lands a hard right hand to the body. Varner lands a right hand and then shakes it. He may have hurt his hand. They exchange and Varner lands a left hook. Tibau looks for a takedown but Varner shakes it off. Varner lands a right hand that stuns Tibau. Tibau is hurt. Varner takes him down and delivers big elbows. 90 seconds remain in the round. Varner works in Tibau’s half guard. He lands left hands. Varner delivers a hard elbow. Tibau hangs on. Varner postures up but nothing gets through. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Varner.
The judges score the fight for Tibau by split decision. The scorecards read 29-28, 27-29 and 29-28.