Janigleison Herculano Alves, better known simply as Gleison Tibau, made his UFC debut back in 2006 against Nick Diaz. The TKO loss didn’t stop the Brazilian’s dream of a long career inside the cage.
"This is my 20th fight in the UFC and I will use the experience in my favor," Tibau told MMAFighting.com. "Every fight is like a debut for me. I feel that the sport is growing so much that there’s always someone in the arena for the first time, so I have to please him. I love that. Fighting 20 times in the UFC isn’t easy, but I want more."
He wants more fights, and he wants more accomplishments.
"I want to submit Varner and stay in the UFC to break more records," he said. "I just turned 30, so I guess I have more 8 or 9 years left to fight. I plan to do 40, maybe 50 fights in the UFC before I retire."
Varner, a 28-year-old veteran, has 13 fights under the Zuffa banner. The former WEC lightweight champion is 2-1 since his return to the Octagon with wins over dangerous strikers like Edson Barboza and Melvin Guillard.
"He is very versatile and fast, has dangerous hands, good takedowns," Tibau said. "But we saw some flaws in his ground game, so we will work on that to get the submission. He has a good ground game, but I will work on that to get the win and earn a chance against the top fighters. I want to show the UFC and the fans what I’m capable of."
Tibau expects a chance against the top contenders with a win at UFC 164.
"We set a good strategy and will get the win on Aug. 31," he said. "Varner has a good name here in the U.S. because of his career at WEC, so I know this win will give me the opportunity to face a top 10 opponent next and get closer to a shot at the title. I hope he comes well prepared, because I trained hard to get the win."