UFC Fight Night 51 Fight Breakdown: Gleison Tibau vs. Piotr Hallmann

hallmann The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 51 is a three-round lightweight bout between Gleison Tibau and Piotr Hallmann. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Tibau is a -225 favorite (bet $225 to win $100) while Hallmann is a +185 underdog (bet $100 to win $185). MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened Tibau at -190 and Hallmann at +150, and so far the public perception is that Tibau wins this fight. This is not an easy fight to call but I believe Hallmann can win it and at +180 I think the value is on him in this matchup. Here’s why. Tibau (29-10) is one of the true gatekeepers of the UFC lightweight division. The 31-year-old Brazilian has been in the UFC since 2006, racking up a 14-8 record in the promotion with wins over the likes of Jamie Varner, Pat Healy, and Rafael dos Anjos. Tibau is extremely strong for the weight class and is often considered one of the biggest 155lbers out there. He has excellent takedown defence and his offensive wrestling is solid as well, and he has slick submissions to go along with his. His striking isn’t great, but it’s improving. His chin isn’t amazing either, but he recovers well when he does get rocked and he’s overall tough guy to put away. But overall he’s just a grinder and tough out for anyone in the weight class. If he had better cardio, he’d probably be ranked in the top 10 of the division, but his gastank is notoriously weak, something which could come back to haunt him against a late-round specialist like Hallmann. Training at ATT, Tibau is always in great shape for his fights and I don’t expect anything less from him against Hallmann, and the public think so as well as they have bet him up to over 2-to-1 in this matchup. Hallmann (15-2) is one of the top up-and-comers at 155lbs. The 27-year-old Pole is so far 2-1 in the UFC with submission wins over Yves Edwards and Francisco Trinaldo and a decision loss to Al Iaquinta. He is an extremely durable fighter who is able to survive his opponent’s punishment early and then come back to win late. It’s not a great strategy in the long run, but so far it’s worked out well for Hallmann, who has some of the best cardio in the division. Overall he has decent but not great striking, his wrestling is solid, and his submissions are great. He also has a very good chin. At only 27, he’s rapidly making improvements to his game, especially since moving to the U.S. to train at The MMA Lab. He’s also a true finisher, with seven wins each by T/KO and submission. Hallmann is highly regarded by the UFC matchmakers and that’s why they keep giving him big-name opponents. This fight against Tibau isn’t going to be easy, but should he win, he will jump into the top 20 or so of the division. And I think he has a very good chance of pulling off the W, certainly a better chance than what the betting public thinks, who have Hallmann as a solid underdog heading into the matchup. Tibau is going to be nearly impossible to take down in the first two rounds, so I expect the first two to play out on the feet, but as we’ve seen time and time again he fades badly in round three, a round where Hallmann excels. It’s possible Tibau could win the first two rounds, but I think Hallmann will make it competitive enough on the feet to possible steal one of the two rounds and I definitely think he wins round three if it makes it there. I also think he has a chance to get a late stoppage if Tibau tires badly. So at +180, I think he’s worth a small play although I’m not confident enough in him to make it a bigger play. But I do think the value is there for a small play, perhaps as part of a round robin. Also keep an eye out for the prop on Hallmann wins in round 3, as it could hold some value as well.

Written by Adam Martin.

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