Rafaello Oliveira (top) has fought his way back into the UFC with four straight wins. | Photo: D. Mandel/Sherdog
Gleison Tibau vs. Rafaello Oliveira
The Matchup: A physically imposing 155-pounder, Tibau is about as large a lightweight as there is at fight time. Using improved striking and an overpowering style, he likes to grind down opponents.
Oliveira returns on short notice, in place of International Fight League veteran and WEC import Bart Palaszewski. Released by the UFC in March 2010 following a decision defeat to Andre Winner, the 29-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has rattled off four straight wins since.
If there is a difference here, it is Tibau’s size and wrestling. The American Top Team representative has shown a gift for piling up points and mixing in takedowns to win rounds in recent outings, so this is pretty much his fight to lose. He should score on the feet, using jabs and dirty boxing in close, and then switch gears by hitting takedowns, camping on top and scoring more.
The Pick: Tibau is the superior fighter on paper and has more ways through which to achieve victory. He takes a decision.
Continue Reading » Next Fight: Chris Cariaso vs. Michael McDonald