Gleison Tibau was in urgent need of an opponent for UFC 130 this coming Saturday, and another Brazilian popped onto the card. Rafaello “Trator” (meaning “tractor” in Portuguese) (14w, 3l) thus returns to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Tibau is coming off a win over Kurt Pelegrino and is raring to show his mettle. Trator showed up on the scene when Poland’s Bart Palaszewski dropped from the card to injury. Trator signed a four-fight contract with the event. In his second stint at the biggest MMA event on the planet, the Pernambuco native hopes to have a better showing than he did last time, when he left the promotion after two losses and a lone win in 2009 and 2010.
Despite the short notice, Trator believes he has what it takes to put on a good fight, as he told the “Diario de Pernambuco” newspaper: “Even when I was out of the UFC I was training hard every day. I knew I’d get another chance if I kept having good fights. I just never imagined it would be so soon,” he said.
Due to the purchase of Strikeforce, Dana White made mention of the fact the UFC was looking for more and more athletes to populate an ever-growing number of events. On Trator, the promotion cited the solid phase the fighter is going through as the reason for bringing him back on board. Trator is riding a four-fight win streak, two of them coming at the Recife Fighting Championship event.
At RCF 3 last December Rafaello defeated France’s Bendy Casimir, of Team Houte Tension, on points. Now at RFC 4 in March he beat the USA’s Ryan “Bones” Bixler, of Team Quest, with a knockout that brought the crowd at Chevrolet Hall to its feet.
“These fights I had in my hometown helped me a lot in terms of exposure. The UFC has a lot of scouts and the event made some waves in the United States,” he revealed. “I know the crowd wants to see a show and that’s what I’m prepared to give them. I don’t just want to win. I’m ready to guarantee good performances. Since my first stint in the UFC I’ve become more experienced, in better control of my emotions and more disciplined. Furthermore, I fight for a cause. I fight for my family and my state. You can expect to see Pernambuco’s flag waved in celebration,” he vowed. Tibau had better watch out.
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
May 28, 2011
Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill
Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson
Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story
Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne
Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago
Preliminary card (via Spike TV)
Miguel Torres vs. Demetrious Johnson
Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch
Preliminary card (via Facebook)
Gleison Tibau vs. Rafaello Oliveira
Michael McDonald vs. Chris Cariaso
Renan Barão vs. Cole Escovedo