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The perplexing Gleison Tibau

Gleison Tibau, left, punches Rafael Dos Anjos, from

Gleison Tibau, left, punches Rafael Dos Anjos, from Brazil, during a UFC 139 Mixed Martial Arts lightweight bout, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in San Jose, Calif. Tibau won by a split decision. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

He's 28 years old, has 42 professional fights and yet he's pretty much an afterthought in the UFC's lightweight division, a guy who always looks to be in amazing shape with hulking biceps that make folks joke that he's really a middleweight.

He is Gleison Tibau, who had his three-fight win streak snapped by a unanimous decision loss to undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0) at UFC 148 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Had Tibau (34-8) won and stretched his win streak to four, it likely wouldn't have made that big an impact in the division. Yes, the 155-pound division is pretty deep, but Tibau (pictured above, left) seems so far away from the top, even before this loss.


Tibau's biggest problem in 16 fights in the UFC is that he never can beat the top guys in his division. His five losses in the UFC (before Saturday) came against  Jim Miller (2010), Melvin Guillard (2009), Joe Stevenson (2008), Tyson Griffin (2008) and Nick Diaz (2006). Three of those losses were by decision, including one split decision.

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