Desmond Green snapped a two-fight losing streak, and handed Brazil’s Gleison Tibau a fourth straight loss under the UFC banner at UFC Utica on Friday.
Kicking off the televised preliminary card at UFC Utica on Friday were a pair of UFC lightweirds. Des Green met Gleison Tibau at the event, which saw the Brazilian Tibau with his back against the wall. At 0-3, he needed a win to stave off a cut from the promotion, while Green himself, at 0-2, was looking to avoid landing in a similar spot.
A very pro-Green crowd helped get things underway in the opening televised bout of UFC Fight Night 131. Green fired off a side kick to the body early, then moved in with a combination. Tibau looked to land a spinning back fist, but sailed wide. He kept Green on the outside, however. ‘The Predator’ landed a punch or two off a Tibau takedown attempt; Tibau was taking some big swings a short time later, but Green was far more effective with his movement and striking. Tibau shot for a single leg with about two minutes remaining in the opening round, but was easily stuffed. Green upped his output briefly as time wound down, and connected with a body kick shortly before time expired.
Tibau would enter the second round no doubt down 10-9 on the scorecards. Tibau had his hands up, and was sitting back a little early in round two. That would keep him away from Green’s power, but also prevented him from coming close with his own power shots. With little takedown threat and lesser output, a battle for position played out, with both men trying to create space with their jab and dictate the pace. Green would launch a jumping knee just before the buzzer, but basically jump into harm’s way. They’d go to a third.
Round three opened up with a similar pace to the second. Tibau shot off a spinning back fist that was nowhere close to hitting home. Green then connected with a short right that wobbled the Brazilian! A combo moments later briefly dropped Tibau, and he was in trouble! The ref took a look, but Tibau was back at it in an instant. That marked Green’s best chance to finish, and certainly secured him the round. Quite possibly the fight. They’d go to the final bell, with Green indeed earning the unanimous decision win in what was easily the best fight of his UFC tenure to date.
Desmond Green def. Gleison Tibau by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)