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UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver - Idiot's Guide Preview to Norman Parke vs. Gleison Tibau

A fairly even matchup takes place this Sunday between Norman Parke and Gleison Tibau, so here are the 3 things you need to know for a fight you may not enjoy, but won't forget.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

This LW bout could either be an ok start to the main card, or a really boring one as two guys who mostly go to decision and fight conservatively get matched in a bout that is nonetheless probably billed as the world class striker from Europe with ginsu knives for hands versus the Godzilla sized fleshbag marauder from Brazil.

The Match Up

Lightweight Norman Parke 20-2-1 vs. Janigleison Herculano Alves Code Name: Gleison Tibau 32-10

The Odds

Lightweight Norman Parke +120 vs. Gleison Tibau -140

3 Things You Should Know

1. Norman Parke's last win means doesn't mean he's suddenly discovered punching power. Nothing against Naoyuki Kotani but the guy is a ZST a relic at this point, which is barely a notch above being a King in the Cage relic.

Yes I know MMA nerds, ZST had some really good fighters come out of that organization. True, but not a lot and even the good ones were incredibly flawed (and fleeting: see Morkevicious). I realize Kotani had a lot of wins, but he's never been UFC level and Parke managed to dust him.

For the most part, Parke is kind of like Michael Bisping with less bark and bite. Hell he's practically the Spider to Bisping's Tommy DeVito. As in, he's incredibly technical, doesn't deviate from the gameplan, and maintains a healthy yet almost pacifist pace.

He's also good Conor McGregor clickbait, which is probably why Zuffa's rewarding him (besides his wins of course). After all, they've bickered openly before, mostly just talking about quaint stuff like the Republic of Ireland vs. Northern Ireland. Don't be surprised if Parke calls out Conor after his win, and the UFC puts out more McGregor promos, just to discuss Irish history the only way a crew of Limp Bizkit fans from "the truck" can.

2. Gleison Tibau is mostly likely Dracula in oversized Portuguese flesh clothing. He's the UFC's version of Henrietta Lacks essentially.

Whatever it is that keeps Tibau running, he better give up the dietary goods. I'd buy whatever he's shilling over the Dolce mamba or whatever any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The bizarre thing about Tibau is that he's plateaued for so long, you'd expect him to decline. Instead he's plateaued so impressively, the plateau is beginning to look damn near vertical. I'm not even sure he's actively improving so much as his body wills itself into the exact same pint Ferrigno fervor hyperspace that he's existed in since his debut.

This will be his 24th fight in the UFC going all the way back to 2006. And he's on a two fight winning streak after beating Piotr Hallmann and Pat Healy. Unreal.

3. Parke's not a good bet, but he should be a good foil for as long as Tibau forgets his own strength.

Parke is gonna do one thing and one thing only: keep the jab going from his southpaw stance, and chamber that straight left periodically just to get Tibau's attention. One of the reasons why Parke doesn't finish is that the guy simply doesn't have power. There isn't an Earnie Shavers gene in his body, which makes his fights somewhat dull with respect to the prospect of violence or drama. Regardless, he's a solid technician. His matchups have been lacking in my opinion, but he hasn't had too much trouble overall, which is what you want young(ish) talented fighters to keep doing.

Tibau feels like an easy pick because he has so many ways to win. Parke has never been knocked out, but Tibau's power can poke it's head out from time to time, so who knows. Regardless, don't expect anything like the Caol Uno bout, which was almost cringe inducing (weird because Uno has faced better fighters). In addition, Tibau's strength tends to come in handy in the grappling department where he's not only technical, but active. He's quicker than he looks, though not quite as strong.

One of the reasons why Parke has a chance is because he's more actively on the feet, and Tibau has a tendency to kind of fight on auto pilot. If that happens, Parke can easily outpoint him for the decision win. Things like power, and speed take a backseat to efficiency in MMA. Parke may have neither compared to Gleison, but he's efficient. I'm picking Tibau, however, because I think his mental game coming around explains his continued, almost rising success: he seems to have a better sense of urgency when striking, as well as when grappling. Thus...


Gleison Tibau by Decision.

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