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Tibau vs. Hallmann

Gleison Tibau is 7-3 over his last 10 bouts. | Photo: D. Mandel/Sherdog.com

Photo: Tim Leidecker/Sherdog.com

Hallmann owns 14 finishes.


Gleison Tibau (29-10, 14-8 UFC) vs. Piotr Hallmann (15-2, 2-1 UFC)

The Matchup: Tibau is a veteran of 22 UFC fights over the last eight years, and barring a drastic decline, the longtime lightweight gatekeeper will likely set the record most appearances inside the Octagon by the end of his career. He takes on talented up-and-comer Hallmann in a bout that will determine whether the Pole continues his rise or remains in the second tier of the 155-pound division.

The Brazilian has always relied on his size, powerful takedowns and relentless ability to grind from top position while snatching the occasional submission. In his most recent fights against Pat Healy and Michael Johnson, however, Tibau has also shown drastically improved southpaw striking, with sharp angles, a quick and powerful straight left and hard kicks to the leg and body.

The increased threat of his strikes makes Tibau’s quick shot more effective as he gets deeper onto his opponent’s hips, and his passes and control remain just as effective on the ground. Tibau’s game is not pretty, but it works against all but the elite of the lightweight division.

Hallmann has flown under the radar thus far, which is likely a product of his workmanlike skills. The Pole is game, durable and pushes a punishing pace for all three rounds, but he lacks a single outstanding skill set to set him apart from his colleagues. His striking does not have much in the way of flash or outstanding power, but he throws technically sound body-head punching combinations interspersed with the occasional kick. Plus, he is willing to throw leather in the pocket, and when he finds his rhythm, opponents are hard-pressed to keep up with his blistering pace. Hallmann is also a serviceable wrestler with fine instincts for reactive takedowns and good takedown defense, with exceptional balance on single-legs. Once the fight hits the mat, the Pole mixes his ground striking with passes and the occasional topside submission.

Betting Odds: N/A

The Pick: Tibau will come out strong, as he always does, and Hallmann, historically a slow starter, will need some time to wake up and find his timing and range. Once he does, however, the fight is Hallmann’s to lose. He throws a great deal more volume at range, has a ton of experience fighting southpaws and has the cardio to take advantage of Tibau’s established pattern of gassing late in fights. It will be close -- the fight hinges on the second round -- but my pick is Hallmann by split decision.

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