UFC 148: Saturday, July 7, 2012 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Lightweight Contender Gleison Tibau (-200) Profile: Gleison Tibau has enjoyed a stay in the UFC that has lasted nearly half a decade. During that time, he has racked up impressive wins over Kurt Pelligrino, Rafael dos Anjos, Caol Uno and Josh Neer to name a few. Tibau brings his enveloping ground game and punishing athleticism to every fight. Training out of American Top Team, Tibau is with the best of the best and has used that to his advantage. Currently, the 28-year-old Brazilian is riding a three-fight winning streak that unfortunately is not without controversy. Although his submission win over Rafaello Oliveira at UFC 130 was definitive, the other two wins over that stretch came as a result of close split decisions. UFC Lightweight Contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (+160) Profile: The undefeated Russian combat master Khabib Nurmagomedov (17-0) is considered a master in Combat Sambo, (translated as self-defense without weapons), holds a black belt in judo and also trains stand up with the American Kickboxing Academy. The 23-year-old has quickly become one of the most feared young fighters and signed on with the UFC after winning his first 16 bouts on his home soil. Nurmagomedov joined a stacked lightweight division with his debut against Khamal Shalorus at UFC on FX 1 and dominated him en route to a third-round submission victory via rear-naked choke. Opening UFC 148 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Tibau a solid -200 favorite (bet $200 to win $100) while Nurmagomedov opened as a +160 underdog (bet $100 to win $160) according to the MMA odds. Tibau owns a huge edge in experience with 15 fights in the UFC compared to just one for Nurmagomedov, and he has an impressive 10-5 record to show for it. Training with American Top Team also gives Tibau an advantage, as he works with some of the best fighters in the world on a regular basis. The same cannot be said of Nurmagomedov, who has fought only once outside of his native Russia and the Ukraine. While a win over Shalorus in his UFC debut proved he belongs in the organization, a victory against Tibau would show his record is more legit and that he could eventually become a serious title contender down the road.
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