Norman Parke just can’t catch a break. The Northern Irish star is crying out for a ranked and/or big name opponent but once again that has been snatched from him. Firstly Parke was set to face Diego Sanchez in Mexico but injury ruled Parke out of that contest and then he got matched against #13 ranked lightweight Jorge Masvidal for UFC Boston but now unfortunately Masvidal suffered a back injury and has been forced to withdraw.
Stepping in is UFC veteran Gleison Tibau (32-10) who has appeared in the octagon no less than 23 times posting a record of 15-8. Tibau poses a tough challenge for anyone in the UFC and unfortunately for Parke the Brazilian is not ranked. Tibau was last in action in September defeating hardworking Polish fighter Piotr Hallman and before that he defeated Pat Healy by unanimous decision. The 31-year-old is a grinder and hard to finish, in fact he has only ever been finished inside the distance four times in his entire career.
Parke (20-2-1) is undefeated inside the UFC going 4-0-1 since his introduction of TUF: The Smashes in 2012. The 27-year-old scored his first stoppage victory in the UFC in July at UFC Dublin with a second round TKO win over Naoyuki Kotani. He will be looking to score another win here, move up the ladder board and get higher ranked opponents to try break that top 15.
Alan’s Angle: Horrible match-up for Parke here with this fight bringing more risk and less reward. Tibau is an incredibly tough opponent and unfortunately a win over him doesn’t bring enough praise as it should but what it would do it show Joe Silva and Sean Shelby what he is capable of.
(Title Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)