UFC 164 Bet: Gleison Tibau (+115) vs Jamie Varner (-135)

Lightweight bout: Gleison Tibau (+115) vs Jamie Varner (-135) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 164 preliminary card features a scrap between two crafty veterans of the lightweight divisions when the Brazilian Gleison Tibau takes on former WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner. Tibau is currently the slight underdog at +115 ($100 to win $115), with Varner being the slight favorite at -135 ($135 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Gleison Tibau (27-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) is making his return to the Octagon after a May victory over Josh Cholish in his home country of Brazil. Tibau has been a bit of a journeyman in the UFC, as he’s steadily been winning some and losing some. He doesn’t put many streaks together, be it losing or winning. It may not sound like much, but that’s actually saying a lot. For a fighter who has 19 fights in the UFC, to be coming off a win and looking good, it really speaks volumes. Gleison Tibau is a very durable fighter with good cardio, a solid chin, and excellent submission defense. Of his seven losses inside the Octagon, he has only been finished once, and that was by Joe Stevenson via his famous guillotine choke. Tibau has only lost to very talented fighters. He lost to Joe Stevenson and Tyson Griffin in 2008 when both were in their prime, he dropped a Split Decision to Melvin Guillard a year later, then a Unanimous Decision to Jim Miller a year after that. Most recently, in two out of his past four bouts, he has dropped two controversial Decision losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Evan Dunham. Tibau is a skilled fighter, all around. His stand-up is solid, as is his ground game. He has a great submission game and is always a threat when the fight hits the mat. If he doesn’t find a submission, he settles for raining down heavy punches. Jamie Varner (21-7-1-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) returns to the Octagon after besting Melvin Guillard en route to a Decision at UFC 155 nine months ago. He returns after the layoff against yet another tough test in Gleison Tibau. Varner is a solid boxer who loves to touch opponents with his hooks. He caught Edson Barboza with it in his UFC debut and followed up with a barrage that forced the referee to step in. Varner is also a talented wrestler. He has never wrestled for a college wrestling team but you wouldn’t be able to tell when you watch him wrestle, especially when you compare him with lightweights who actually did wrestle in college. Both boxing and wrestling will be important key’s to victory for Varner in this bout. He will need to continuously pepper Tibau with punches and mix in takedowns to secure rounds. Jamie Varner has heavy hands and very good chokes, but I don’t think he will finish Gleison Tibau. Varner trains out of The MMA Lab in Glendale, AZ with notable training partners Yaotzin Meza, Efrain Escudero, and current UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson, who he lost his Lightweight title to in the WEC. Varner will be at a two inch height disadvantage, but a one inch reach advantage going into this bout. He has had a full training camp at The MMA Lab to prepare for this bout, so his conditioning should not be a concern. Fight Prediction: I expect them to beat each other up for three rounds and for each of them to have their moments. Gabe’s Pick: Jamie Varner by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 2.5 rounds -190

Written by Gabe Killian

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