Jamie Varner came out with a sense of urgency for the third round of his UFC 164 fight against Gleison Tibau on Saturday. The former WEC lightweight champion started throwing the big bombs he's known for, scored a takedown, and kept going right through the end of the round.
Unfortunately for Varner, though, that effort was nowhere to be found over the first two rounds. And as such, Tibau got the nod in the Bradley Center. Tibau took the split decision on scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 27-29.
The opening round featured little of note over the first four minutes, as both guys by and large kept their distance in the standup. That enabled Tibau to use a takedown to finish strong and take the round.
The second round was all Tibau. Varner tried a jumping guillotine in the early going, but Tibau broke it, switch position and stayed there most of the rest of the way.
But the thing that's kept Tibau, a veteran of 20 UFC fights who debuted at UFC 65, from breaking into contention is that he cuts a lot of weight to meet the 155-pound limit, which caught up to him in round three. But Varner couldn't come close to a finish.
Varner (21-8-1, 1 NC) is now 2-2 since his Zuffa return; Tibau has won three of four and is now 13-7 in the UFC.