Last weekend, in the co-main event of the UFC Fight Night 51 in Brazil, lightweight competitor Gleison Tibau scored a split decision victory over [#41] Piotr Hallman. This was not a highly anticipated or hyped fight; a contest between two middle-of-the-road lightweights both ranked outside of Top 25 in their division (the win propelled Tibau from #27 up to #22, while Hallman’s ranking was not affected). What was most notable about this fight is that it marked Tibau’s 23rd UFC bout, and his 15th win in the Octagon. This puts Tibau in a tie for the fourth place for both most wins and most bouts in the UFC history.
To put things in perspective, the record for most wins in UFC is currently held by Georges St. Pierre (19), followed by Matt Hughes (18). The third place is shared by Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, and Randy Couture, all with 16 wins a piece. Gleison is tied for #4 with Tito Ortiz, Josh Koscheck, and Michael Bisping. In the most bouts category, Tito Ortiz (27) holds the lead, followed by Matt Hughes (25) and Randy Couture (24). Tibau shares the fourth place with Chuck Liddell, BJ Penn, Frank Mir, and Josh Koscheck.
Take another look at these names. All except for Koscheck, Bisping, and Tibau are former UFC champions and legends of the sport. In fact, they have a combined record of 61-26-1 in UFC title fights! Even Josh Koscheck has had a shot at UFC gold, and Michael Bisping had several “top contender” bouts, though he fell short each time. Tibau on the other hand has never had a title shot or even a #1 contender bout. He was never ranked in the Top 10 of any weight class, coming closest at #12 after his 3-fight win streak in 2011. I certainly would have never expected the kid who got plastered by Nick Diaz in his UFC debut (as a welterweight), to ever be mentioned in the same sentence with the all-time greats, in any context.
What’s more is that at 31, Gleison is not showing any signs of slowing down. After dropping down to lightweight in his second UFC bout, he has been steadily chugging along for eight years, fighting on average 2.75 times a year, and winning around 68% of these fights – or 1.875 fights a year. If he continues at this rate for another two years, by the end of 2016 he should be tied for the top spot in both the total number of UFC fights and total wins, or may even hold the record in both categories. The only active fighters who may give him a run for the total number of fights are Frank Mir and Josh Koscheck – both on extended losing streaks and the verge of retirement. In the wins column, there is Michael Bisping – but at 35 he too is four years older than Tibau, and is likely past his peak judging by his recent fights. There is a very real possibility that Tibau may soon hold both records. He is also at #7 for the most total fight time in the UFC. The only currently active fighters on the roster with more minutes clocked in the Octagon are Frankie Edgar and Diego Sanchez.
Posted on September 17, 2014 by oleg