A lightweight pairing pitting Evan Dunham against Gleison Tibau has been booked for UFC 156, promotion officials announced Thursday.
In addition to announcing the Dunham-Tibau matchup, the promotion also confirmed a previously reported flyweight conflict between Ian McCall and Joseph Benavidez. UFC 156 takes place Feb. 2 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and is headlined by a featherweight title confrontation between reigning champion Jose Aldo and ex-lightweight titlist Frankie Edgar. The evening’s main draw airs live on pay-per-view and will also see onetime Strikeforce heavyweight belt holder Alistair Overeem collide with former EliteXC ruler Antonio Silva.
After beginning his career a perfect 11-0, Dunham has competed with mixed results in recent years, going 2-3 in his last five fights. Known for his aggressive, exciting style, the southpaw snapped a two-fight skid last year by outpointing “Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 alumnus Shamar Bailey at Fight Night 25 and followed that victory with a doctor’s stoppage win over Nik Lentz this past January at UFC on Fox 2. The 30-year-old Oregonian last competed on Sept. 22, dropping a hard-fought unanimous decision to T.J. Grant in a “Fight of the Night” winning performance at UFC 152.
A UFC lightweight staple, Tibau, 29, has won four of his last five fights. The Brazilian earned a trio of wins last year before kicking off 2012 with a decision defeat to unbeaten Russian prospect Khabib Nurmagomedov this past July at UFC 148. Following that setback, the Brazilian rebounded with a gutsy performance against countryman Francisco Trinaldo, grinding out a unanimous verdict over the former Jungle Fight champion on Oct. 13 at UFC 153.