Jamie Varner vs. Gleison Tibau
Our final prelim bout takes place in the lightweight division, as Benson Henderson’s MMA Lab teammate Jamie Varner (21-7-1) looks to start the night off right for the team against Gleison Tibau (27-9). The third man inside the Octagon will be Yves Lavigne.
Round 1: Tibau is just a huge lightweight. The amount of weight he cuts, and adds back on, is insane and makes him look like a middleweight. Varner getting off a little quicker, but everything Tibau connects with has a crazy amount of power to it. Tibau connects and goes for a flying knee, but misses. Tibau with a step-in kick to the head, but misses just short. Varner looking for that right hand, but Tibau is circling away from it. The Milwaukee crowd is restless, or maybe they just wanna boo Varner because of his Henderson ties. Tibau grabs a leg and slams Varner to the canvas hard, just brute strength from the Brazilian, who is trying to isolate the arm. Varner’s corner doing a nice job of instructing him, but Tibau lands a big left and takes the back in the process.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Tibau
Round 2: Lots of circling, and Tibau goes for a takedown. Varner grabs the neck and gets slammed hard, but is unable to secure the choke. Tibau now back on top with plenty of time to do damage. Hammer-fists from Tibau, who has a hold of his arm and head, trapping him. Varner tries to get up and gives up his back. Back to mount with a hip escape, but Tibau continues to do damage. Varner, again, rolls and gives up his back, but quickly rolls again and is in the mount of Tibau. Varner gets flattened and beaten, as Tibau is in complete control and dominating this match.
FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Tibau
Round 3: Varner, knowing his back is against the wall, storms out of the gates quickly. Quick left gets through for Varner, and Tibau is backing up constantly now. Body shot lands and Varner is definitely the fresher fighter. Tibau, though, times a takedown perfectly and scores. Varner back to his feet right away this time and gets out. Three minutes left. Uppercut to the body lands and it is win or go home time for Varner. He’s attacking the body and Tibau is moving back, looking only for the takedown. Varner appears to have injured his hand, and Tibau scores with a left, while also defending a takedown attempt. Varner with an uppercut and Tibau wobbles. Varner scores a takedown and is attacking, hammering away with elbows to the face. Tibau has just under two minutes to survive, but is doing so by tying him up. Varner firing away, but he just can’t find that one money shot. Elbow gets through for Varner, who has 40 seconds left to finish.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Varner
Gleison Tibau def. Jamie Varner via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)