Video and photo of the fight
July 7, 2012 Khabib is in Nevada preparing for his second UFC fight. Khabib’s opponent is a rampant Brazilian Gleison Tibau with a winning streak of three fights. He is definitely not going to play by Nurmagomedov’s rules. He is very strong physically, the heaviest fighter in the Lightweight division.
The course of combat:
Khabib feels deja vu when Bruce Buffer announces the fight. Behind his back stand his teammates from the American Red Fury MMA – Azamat Hashimov, Adlan Amagov and manager Sam Cardin. Mario Yamasaki is the third person in the cage. Before the bell rings, he asks the fighters: “Are you ready? Let’s go!”
Glove touch, and the Eagle takes the center of the cage with his typical right-sided stance that he has perfected as a combat sambo fighter. Gleison Tibau starts pressing without feeling out the opponent first, Khabib is keeping the distance with his back against the cage not letting the opponent to take control. Tibau tries to press in, but the Eagle bounces back with wide strikes.
Two minutes after the start, Khabib decides to go for the legs. He manages to take only one of them and grapples the opponent against the cage. Khabibs makes several takedown attempts, and the physical superiority of the Brazilian becomes obvious.
The round is coming to an end, Khabib is trying to dominate in standing, sometimes by getting into craziest exchanges with the stronger opponent.
At the weigh-ins, Gleison seemed huge, and I couldn't figure out how he could actually make the weight. But when I saw him the next day inside the Octagon, he looked even bigger.
As in the first round, Khabib assumes the center of the Octagon looking for a position to attack. After more than minute of dominating in the center, Khabib decides to approach and attempt a strike, but the opponent reads his intentions and attacks first. A powerful left swing flies just inches from Khabib's face. Khabib reacts immediately and bounces back to a safe place.
Not willing to take a risk, he draws the Brazilian up to the side of the cage and grabs his leg. Gleison shows excellent side work skills, he does not let Khabib to take him down for 20 seconds and defends himself with confidence after Khabib’s attempt to regain the distance.
The fight is halfway through, when the fighters return to the center of the cage and start looking for gaps in each other’s defences. Suddenly, the Brazilian, who has been fighting in the standing position for the whole time, decides to try his luck in wrestling. Failing to perform the takedown, he rushes in like a bulldozer and sweeps Khabib off his feet. But expert wrestler Khabib answers this attempt with confidence, stands up on his feet, performs an exchange on the cage and bounces back without any damage to himself. For the remaining two minutes, Khabib takes the lead and gives his opponent an eyebrow cut. In the last 10 seconds, Khabib gives Tibau a flying knee strike and engages him in a wild striking exchange. Such a spectacular ending will certainly add our fighter some points for the judges.
The third round starts from where they left off in the second. Another dynamic exchange and confident standing with head movement from Khabib. Powerful swing, but the opponent bounces back. Right jab, and the opponent escapes the hit. High kick, and again to the defence! Each of those kicks could be the last for Gleison. On the fourth minute the Brazilian attempts another takedown, but Khabib grabs his legs and tries to punch him in the head. Another miss. Khabib seems to have changed the game plan and decided not to waste his energy on the takedowns.
The Eagle takes the lead in standing and pins the opponent up to the cage from time to time which earns him points. Understanding that he is losing, Gleison remembers the takedown attempt in the second round and decides to test Khabib's defence one more time. This time the Brazilian is more successful: Khabib is down on his back. But the Russian stands up again, the blood on his face belongs to Tibau whose eyebrow cut starts to bleed. The fighters move to the standing position, Khabib acts strictly by the game plan. He drives the Brazilian up against the cage again.
One and a half minute to go, Khabib slams Tibau with a striking storm. The Eagle keeps pressing. Under 30 seconds left, but the drama is still on, a wild exchange, and final attempts to dominate. This time Khabib is more successful. The bell rings! The fight is over.
This was definitely the hardest fight in the Eagle’s career. Bruce Buffer announces Khabib's win by unanimous decision. Unable to control his feelings, Khabib covers his face to mask his joy.