Gleison Tibau parts ways with the UFC after 28 Octagon appearances

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Gleison Tibau (right) made his UFC in 2006 against Nick Diaz.
 William Lucas, Inovafoto

Gleison Tibau is no longer on the UFC roster.

The Brazilian veteran, who stepped inside the Octagon 28 times since 2006, will move on to another promotion after the UFC chose not to re-sign the experienced lightweight when his contract expired, Tibau confirmed to MMA Fighting following a report by Ag. Fight.

Tibau compiled a 16-12 record in more than a decade in the UFC, defeating the likes of Rafael dos AnjosJeremy StephensCaol UnoFrancisco TrinaldoPat HealyJamie VarnerNorman Parkeand Terry Etim. He has also fought MMA veterans Nick DiazJim MillerKhabib Nurmagomedovand Tony Ferguson.

Tibau told MMA Fighting he has yet to sign with another promotion, but has received offers from all around the world.

“There are many offers coming, but nothing is set yet,” Tibau said. “Rizin offered me a fight with Takanori Gomi on two weeks’ notice, but I was in Brazil, I was taking care of my cookie business and wasn’t even training, so I couldn’t take it. ACB also sent me an offer, but then they cancelled some cards, so I turned it down.

“Bellator asked me to wait a little bit, but they are interested. There’s also a promotion from Abu Dhabi, another one in Russia as well. I will sign one-fight deals only so I remain free.”

Tibau leaves the UFC on a four-fight losing streak, including a first-round submission victory over Abel Trujillo that was later overturned to a loss by the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) after Tibau failed a drug test.

Another change in his life is that he will no longer cut down to lightweight. The Brazilian veteran has always cut and gained too much weight before and after weigh-ins for his UFC bouts, and decided to move up to 170 pounds going forward.

“I should have done that a while ago,” Tibau said. “I only train with the best welterweights and do super well in the gym. The weight cut has bothered me a lot. I want to fight as well as I do in training. I perform well at 170, and with the weight cut I have no explosion, no strength, no resistance, so I will move up a weight class.

“I’ve always had a tough time cutting weight, and those two years I stayed away weren’t good. I lost rhythm, didn’t perform well. I wanted to do things but my body wouldn’t respond. I had no energy.”

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