(Ed. note: this post was written prior to the weigh-ins; Gleison Tibau did in fact make weight. But so what? He’s still a chunky mofo.)
Gleison Tibau’s fight against Jamie Varner at UFC 164 Saturday night will be his 20th in the UFC. At 30 years old, Tibau will be the youngest fighter ever to reach that mark. At 172 pounds, however, he has some sweating to do before this afternoon’s weigh-ins.
Brazilian journalist Guilherme Cruz announced on Twitter last night that the lightweight “still has 17.6 pounds to lose for UFC 164’s weigh-ins tomorrow,” according to members of his camp. That’s a daunting cut for a fighter in any division, but it would be especially impressive at 155.
“Especially impressive,” in this case, is a euphemism for “not likely to happen.” Tibau is large for the division and has been working with a nutritionist since May to ease his weight cuts. He described himself as “lighter, leaner and more confident” going into his last fight, which ended with a submission victory over John Cholish. If Cruz’s report is accurate, though, Tibau will almost certainly have trouble making weight this afternoon.
Presuming he fights tomorrow, Tibau will become one of only twelve UFC fighters to record 20 appearances in the Octagon. He is one of four to reach that mark without fighting for a championship, and has yet to win a post-fight bonus in his career. Still, he told Mike Bohn and Christian Stein of MMAFighting that he envisions “a great victory” tomorrow night.
“[I] trained everywhere, and I’m ready for anything—it can be standing, wrestling or on the ground,” Tibau said. “I see a great fight, a great victory and my arm raised at the end. That’s what I see.”
Tibau made no mention of his weight, but presumably he also sees several bottles of Pedialyte. By the time you read this, Gleison Tibau will be sad. We wish him the best of luck in re-inflating to the terrifying juggernaut he has been 19 times before.