Undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has looked unbeatable throughout most of his career, but the Russian was knocked down a peg or two when he fought Brazilian powerhouse Gleison Tibau back in 2012.
Although Nurmagomedov won the fight via unanimous decision, Tibau got the better of most of the exchanges and many outlets scored the bout in the his favour.
Nurmagomedov, who is renowned for his takedowns and world class grappling, was unable to land a single takedown after thirteen attempts and, for perhaps the first time in his career, found himself taken down by the bigger, stronger opponent. Tibau also landed more significant strikes and appeared to get the better of Khabib on the feet.
Speaking to The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko in a recent interview, Tibau said he teases Nurmagomedov about getting the better of him at UFC 148.
“A good moment for me is… Kurt Pellegrino, Jamie Varner, and Khabib,” Tibau said, per The Body Lock’s Abhinav Kini. “I take this time, it’s a very, very good time for me. Everybody talks. Now Khabib knows my fight, me, Khabib? I win this fight.
“Now, I’m friends with Khabib, and I play and talk with Khabib, you lose this fight. ‘Uh, yeah, maybe, maybe, maybe.’ Because, tough fight, you know? I mean, broke for takedowns, takedowns on Khabib, more punches, everybody talk that I win this fight. I think this moment was very important for my time with the UFC. Very good fights with Jamie Varner, Kurt Pellegrino, good time, good, good performances.”
Tibau, 36, parted ways with the UFC in 2018 after losing to Desmond Green at UFC Fight Night 131. The American Top Team product fought in the UFC for over a decade and amassed a record of 17-12 (34-14 MMA). Tibau subsequently signed with Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and beat former UFC fighter Efrain Escudero in his promotional debut.
Khabib, 30, is expected to unify the lightweight titles against interim titleholder Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. The highly anticipated PPV takes place later this year, September 7 at du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.