LAS VEGAS - Nicknamed "The Tractor," Rafaello Oliveira is a big, strong lightweight. He met his match tonight against the beast of the division and got run off the road. Tibau floored Oliveira with a big left, brutalized him on the ground and finished the fight at 3:28 mark of the second round with a rear-naked choke in bout No. 3 of UFC 130 at the MGM Garden Arena.
"I think I proved tonight that I'm getting close to my peak," Tibau said. "I showed everyone that I can strike, that I can finish guys with jiu-jitsu and that my game is coming together. I'm becoming a more complete fighter every day and I know that I'm heading toward the top of this division. I love the UFC and I want to fight as much as possible so that I can keep rising in this division."
In the opening round, Oliveira held his own. Tibau's size advantage made no difference. In fact, he looked a little slow. When Tibau was able to close space in the second and move the fight near the cage, Oliveira got trapped in a bad spot. He ate a huge left and hit the deck. Tibau jumped on top and moved to mount. Oliveira decided to flip to his back where Tibau got the hooks in and tried to flatten out the fellow Brazilian. Oliveira made a big mistake by trying to rise off the canvas with Tibau on his back. That seemed to sap his energy and allowed Tibau to slap on the choke.
"I think he has some great combos and I didn't see his left hand coming," Oliveira said. "I took this fight on short notice, but there are really no excuses. I need to work on controlling my mind in fights and fighting like I know I can fight. I will be back in the UFC and I will make the necessary changes to my game."
Tibau's won two straight. He's still in search of a huge win to move into the top 10 at lightweight. The 27-year-old Brazilian is 9-5 with the promotion. His only losses have come against Nick Diaz, Jim Miller, Joe Stevenson, Melvin Guillard and Tyson Griffin.