LAS VEGAS – Coming off the biggest win of his career, Michael Johnson may be ready to get on a roll.
Johnson upset Joe Lauzon in August, and on Saturday he delivered a big knockout of Gleison Tibau, something that hasn’t been an easy task for anyone.
The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 168 event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following additional prelims on MMAjunkie and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.
Johnson tried to get inside with a body punch early, then fired a 1-2 combination. Johnson appeared to be cautious in his stance, not wanting to stand in front of the powerful Brazilian. With two minutes left, he landed a solid punch that appeared to stun Tibau for a moment, and he came right behind it with a punch to the body.
The second started tentatively, it seemed, for both fighters. But then out of nowhere, Johnson had Tibau moving toward him, trying to track him down, and he took advantage. He landed a jab, and a right hand to the temple came right behind it. Tibau hit the canvas, and Johnson was immediately on top of him for some big-time hammerfists for the knockout victory.
It was the first knockout or TKO loss for Tibau since UFC 65, when he lost to Nick Diaz in November 2006.
Johnson (14-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) won for the second straight time after his August upset of Lauzon. Tibau (28-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) had a two-fight winning streak snapped and finished a busy 2013 2-2.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 168 results include:
For complete coverage of UFC 168, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Las Vegas.