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Silva/Leites on for April in Montreal?

(Leites smashes Pete Sell at UFC 69. Photo courtesy of

According to MMA Junkie, UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva and Thales Leites have verbally agreed to face each other at an April event (update: says it’ll be UFC 97 on 4/18), though bout agreements have not been signed yet. As the story goes, the UFC is hoping to replicate the success of UFC 83 by returning to Montreal for the card, one year after "Serra vs. St. Pierre II."

This of course means that Silva won’t be headlining UFC 95 (February 21st, London), and it means that his next match won’t be one of those "superfights" that people love so much. Not taking anything away from Thales Leites, who’s obviously very talented, but does anybody believe that he’s truly the #1 contender in the UFC’s middleweight division? Though Leites is on a five-fight win streak — just like Patrick Cote was when he got his title shot — the only big name he’s beaten during his current run is Nate Marquardt, and he would have lost that fight if Marquardt didn’t have two points deducted for illegal strikes; one judge still scored the fight for Nate.

Now that Dan Henderson is (temporarily?) back at light-heavyweight, I see two guys ahead of Leites in the middleweight title picture…

The first is Yushin Okami, provided he defeats Dean Lister on Saturday. Okami has scored wins over Jason MacDonald and Evan Tanner since dropping a decision to Rich Franklin in June ’07, and has always been considered a top contender in the 185-pound division. There’s also the added hook that Okami holds a win over Anderson Silva, even if it was just by disqualification. It seems like Leites has leap-frogged him here, simply because his win-streak is greater.

The other guy is the undefeated Demian Maia, who has simply looked more impressive in his 4-0 UFC run, picking up three Submission of the Night bonuses along the way. With his submission prowess, Maia would be an actual threat to Silva; to me, it would feel less like a place-holder matchup.

If Michael Bisping can win his next fight, he’ll get a crack at Silva, due in large part to his marketability. Leites, an under-the-radar Brazilian, isn’t even particularly marketable. So what gives?

Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- April 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm
thats a good fight but i think lesner would fuk kimbo up
kostellow- December 25, 2008 at 7:58 am
maybe a lhw fight and a super blockbuster fight so schedules can also match....
kostellow- December 25, 2008 at 7:56 am
its funny because everybody talks about fedors lack of worth opposition...
wouldnt it be better if he had a lhw fight before maia vs. bisping produced him a real opponent??????
dana sucks.
Anonymous- December 24, 2008 at 10:08 pm
i dont think thales laites should get a shot yet i think he should either rematch marquardt for # 1 contender or fight demian maia for #1 contender and honestly i think he would win a decision against marquardt and maia.First reason is he was dominating marquardt til the illegal knees and that can take alot out of u .And maia would not submit leites it would probably be a war but where as maia is better on the ground hes not better by alot no matter what anybody may think, where as the strikeing u gotta give a huge advantage to leites not only reach but power and technique and i dont know about maia but i know leites can take a very solid punch .
Anonymous- December 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm
Anderson Silva is a farce.

Not only does he not fight the best middleweights in the world but he doesn't even fight the best middleweights the UFC has to offer!!!

P- December 23, 2008 at 12:46 pm
Maia would destory Anderson and Dana don't want to lose money on this yet.

I can name 6 people at 185 more deserving of this title shot.(not including Maia,Bisping,Hendo,Franklin)

Jonny5- December 23, 2008 at 11:50 am
Oh n btw don't go and get what I'm saying twisted cause I'm swinging off Demian's nuts just as much as the rest of you. I would actually really love a fight between Demian Maiaa and Thales Leites to cement Demian's place as a title contender cause as of right now I think he is on the verge but not there yet.
Anderson Silva who?- December 23, 2008 at 11:41 am
Silve vs A Tiger - 2:14 second round stoppage via triangle choke Silva
Kissenger- December 23, 2008 at 11:35 am
Horrible match-making. Leites sucks balls. I can think of at least 5 UFC MWs more deserving of a title shot and Okami's at the top of the list (he's the only contender who put in a good showing against Franklin).
Jonny5- December 23, 2008 at 11:33 am
UFC contenders ahead/I'd rather see fight than leites for MWstrap:Yushin Okami, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, and Dan Henderson. For some reason "Thunder" Okami the #1 cont. is put on an undercard? Can we blame anyone but Joe Silva for this?
Anonymous- December 23, 2008 at 10:49 am
bizzo never once does it say okami lost a title fight to franklin. it just says he dropped a decision to him in 07 and that he is considered a top contender
Anonymous- December 23, 2008 at 10:46 am
bizzo never once does it say okami lost a title fight to franklin. it just says he dropped a decision to him in 07 and that he is considered a top contender
Bizzo- December 23, 2008 at 10:45 am
you came to the party late. He corrected it.
Bizzo- December 23, 2008 at 10:44 am
@ Anonymous

read this

@ Lone Wolf, Huh?, etc.

Yes, Okami/Franklin was a #1 contender bad. Thanks for the correction.

umm..think before you post. thanks for coming out.
Anderson Silva who?- December 23, 2008 at 10:03 am
What happen to the fire when he LOST to Patrick Cote! Yeah I said it he LOST cause he couldn't finish it! He wanted a fight the very next week and now it's April Boo this nigga BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dave- December 23, 2008 at 10:02 am
This might come off as insane conspiracy-mongering, but is it possible that Leites was picked BECAUSE he poses the least challenge to Silva on paper? This show is in April; the rumored "All Belts on the Line" UFC 100 is allegedly planned for July. For that show to go off, they need their champions healthy and rested, and April would be just about the last time any of them could fight realistically before July. So it stands to reason that the champions fighting closest to the UFC 100 date would need to be kept as injury-free as possible in their last events prior to July.

Beyond that, the rest of the champions could be slotted thusly:

Lesnar vs Mir/Nog in March/April/May
GSP vs Alves @ UFC 100 (provided Penn loses, if he wins just scrap a WW title fight at 100)
Penn vs Florian @ UFC 100
LHW champ vs Wand/Rampage in March/April/May

For this to work, by the way, the UFC would have to have a handful of cards in May and June, and possibly August, headlined by non-champs. Randy and Chuck can both still headline PPVs without belts, as can Franklin, Bisping and probably Hughes/Serra. So if any of this is actually for real, expect to see announcements regarding those guys to pop out early next year...
1glove- December 23, 2008 at 9:56 am
Maia is the only real threat to Silva. Can't wait for that one.
ample- December 23, 2008 at 9:53 am
Yall need to get back to work you filthy bitches
Douchebaggery- December 23, 2008 at 8:10 am
Thales Leites is about to get pwned like a mofo. Marquardt put the beat down on his ass already.

this should be on Spike for free or coupled with another title fight
ben- December 23, 2008 at 7:40 am
@ Lone Wolf, Huh?, etc.Yes, Okami/Franklin was a #1 contender bad. Thanks for the correction.
NeWjErSeY-nEwJeRsEy- December 23, 2008 at 7:22 am
why the long wait? what happened to Silva wanting to fight every other month?
Wiltzor- December 23, 2008 at 7:18 am
Alright, since it looks like I'll be talking about this guy with people in the next month, can somebody please tell me how to pronounce his name?

Bizzo- December 23, 2008 at 7:03 am
since losing a title fight to Rich Franklin in June '07,


This wasn't a title fight by the way.
Huh?- December 23, 2008 at 7:00 am
Was Okami's fight against Franklin for the title??
Dana White's HS bully- December 23, 2008 at 7:00 am
This is just Dana on another power trip showing Silva that if you talk openly about retireing from our org. and becoming a boxer, your last fights will be against the least memorable cattle.

Dont expect any Silva superfights unless he retracts his statements of retirement!

This is why Dana's anus is still mutated from that nasty wedgie I give him back in the day