Former UFC lightweight contender Gleison Tibau admitted that it was a “big surprise” for him that he defeated Rory MacDonald in PFL.
Tibau earned one of the biggest upsets of the year so far in MMA when he won a controversial split decision over MacDonald at PFL 5 last Thursday in New Jersey. The decision was extremely controversial, with many fans and media declaring it a “robbery” after two of the three judges scored the bout in favor of the Brazilian. Most thought that MacDonald did enough to win at least two of the three rounds and earn the decision, but the judges had other plans as they awarded the longtime UFC veteran Tibau the decision.
Speaking to the media following PFL 5, Tibau praised his opponent as a “legend” but also admitted that it was a “big surprise” for him to get his hand raised against MacDonald.
“Rory is a legend, he’s tough, a complete fighter. He has good wrestling, striking, and grappling. It’s not an easy fight. I’m really happy because I didn’t fight for a long time. My first fight here at the PFL was Joao Zeferino. A tough guy, Brazilian too. It had been a long time since I competed. I wasted time. Today, I’m more comfortable in the cage. I got nervous. The fight was tough. Every fighter I know, when a tough fight goes to the decision, gets nervous. I do not know. It was a big surprise,” Tibau said (h/t AG Fight).
Tibau has been to a split decision nine times in his MMA career, and he was awarded the judges’ decision in seven of those victories. The only split decisions he ever lost in his career were against Evan Dunham and Melvin Guillard in the UFC, otherwise, he’s been able to earn the judges’ decision every other time there was a split nod.
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