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Thales Leites’ ‘To-Do’ List: Win Two Belts and Eventually Go Back to the UFC

(Where’s your muay thai now, playboy?)

For most fighters, losing their next fight after losing a championship bout would mean that they likely would drop down a few slots on the main card.

Matt Serra lost his belt to Georges St-Pierre, then lost to Matt Hughes and got another chance to redeem himself against Frank Trigg. Chuck Liddell lost his belt to Quinton Jackson, then lost to Keith Jardine and was given Wanderlei Silva in his next fight. Evan Tanner lost his belt to Rich Franklin, then lost to David Loiseau and was given Justin Levens as a chance at redemption.

Then there’s Thales Leites, who loses via unanimous decision to Anderson Silva and subsequently drops a close split decision to Alessio Sakara and he’s given his walking papers and has to fight the unemployment line.

The same fighter whose title-shot UFC president Dana White was vehemently defending to those who questioned how deserving the Brazilian was of it was now not worthy of fighting for the promotion, which seemed odd to say the least considering he was 5-3 in the Octagon with his only other loss (also a decision) coming at the hands of Martin Kampmann.

Since being cut by the UFC, Leites has reeled off three straight wins including a pair over UFC veterans Jesse Taylor and Dean Lister.

Leites is scheduled to compete for the upstart "War on the Mainland" promotion’s middleweight title August 14 against Falaniko Vitale and reveals to TATAME that he will likely contend for the Maximum Fighting Championship’s 185-pound strap in his next bout with the Canadian promotion.

"MFC wants me to sign a three fights contract, so I’m very excited about fighting on the United States and in Canada," he says. "I believe that my next MFC fight will also be for the belt."

Although he says that his longterm goal is to one day make it back to compete in the Octagon, fighting outside of it has provided him with more perspective and has allowed him to improve inside and outside the cage.

"If I win [against Vitale], it’ll be my fourth win since I left UFC. I’m not worried if I’m coming back to [the UFC] or not, because meanwhile good things are happening to me," Leites explains. "[In] the beginning I was upset about it, but [the experience] made me more mature."

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Null Kuhl- August 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm
I've always contended that saying "first" did, indeed, make you some type of sub-human (and possibly totally gay), but when I saw the pristine, blank comment section just sitting there unaware...I couldn't control myself. I'd never been faced with the temptation before, and it proved to be overwhelming. I can only hope that with the help of my higher power and the support system in FCA (First Commenters Anonymous), I will do better next time. I hope you all can forgive my indiscretions.
Häkkiperuna- August 3, 2010 at 1:01 am
Got it, thanks.
itsgalf- August 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm
it's not the best wording, but the article already points out 2 of Leites' losses. The third loss was to Martin Kampmann
Steffmeister- August 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm
And also... The Silva vs. Leites fight was epic in my opinion. His ability to find the right distance, and those leg kicks Anderson threw... Wow!

Most important the discipline of Anderson, sticking to a winning gameplan dispite it upsetting the fans... I think that fight shows why Anderson is so hard to beat.

Sonnen don't have a chance in hell.
Steffmeister- August 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm
Hey @nickyroose,

I like the story about you pussy... cat, that is.
hows taste my pee pee- August 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm
Big differences here...Serra lost HIS belt, Liddell lost HIS belt, Tanner lost HIS belt. Leites lost his shot at the belt and has no fanbase to speak of.

Want a comparison, see Travis Lutter.
ghostboner- August 2, 2010 at 2:42 pm
It means Martin Kampmann is one bad mofo. I would have cut Leites' ass too. I mean the Silva fight alone was enough to piss me off, add the fact that he only got the fight because of a bullshit decision against Marquardt, and then the Sakara fight? Holy hell did anyone watch that fight? All the way through?

Jake Shields is so boring he uses the Sakara-Leites fight as his alarm clock.

Jake Shields is so boring that he is the only person alive that stayed awake through the whole Leites-Sakara fight.
Dick_Gozenya- August 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm
@ knurckle

Häkkiperuna- August 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm
"he was 5-3 in the Octagon with his only other loss (also a decision) coming at the hands of Martin Kampmann."

Ok, what the fuck does that even mean?
Sudos KFC- August 2, 2010 at 1:44 pm
I agree with you all for sure but have you seen his last couple? I was housesitting for my rich ass sister and her boyfriend with hdnet and caught 2 including jesse taylor and his striking is much improved. If my grass addled brain serves me he kod someone else of moderate acclaim recently. But what do I look like fightfinder? Geez get off my back...
rearnakedchickenchoke- August 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm
Ah yes, Leites sucked in his fight against Silva, but Silva made that fight just as shitty as Leites. For every ass-flop, instead of Silva backing off and saying "get up" (in Portuguese or the queen's English, his choice), he spent 20-30 seconds kicking Leites in the legs and ass. That's real entertainment...
nickyroose- August 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm
Again even saying fstir still makes you gafgot. Second I never understood why anyone blamed Silva for that fight sucking assberries. It was like watching my cat fight my dog. Just laying down like an idiot. Maybe once even twice, but after that you know he's not gonna flop on you so quit trying.
andoy162- August 2, 2010 at 12:32 pm
he had good fights until he faced silva.
he just needs to work on striking and not depend more on his jitz skills, after all, its mma and not a grappling competition.
Null Kuhl- August 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm
Also, did you guys forget that even YOU referred to his fight with Sakara as a "dull split-decision loss"? Or that he just kept falling on his butt during the Silva fight? I would imagine that it's the caliber of the losses that got him cut. If you lose boring fights, don't be surprised when you get the boot.
Null Kuhl- August 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm