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Report: Silva vs. Leites to headline UFC 97 in Montreal

Anderson Silva’s next fight has been determined and it will be a defense of his UFC middleweight title against Thales Leites at UFC 97 on April 18 in Montreal, Canada.

The news comes courtesy of a report by MMA Weekly, which has indicated that both fighters have signed bout agreements for the fight.

Leites has gone undefeated since losing his UFC debut to Martin Kampmann in November of 2006 during the live finale for the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter. The Nova Uniao fighter is 14-1 overall in his pro MMA career with notable victories over Gustavo Machado, Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons, Pete Sell, and Nathan Marquardt.

The 27-year old’s most recent victory took place in October at UFC 90, where he submitted Drew McFedries with a rear naked choke at 1:18 of round 1.

Silva also competed on the same card, where he successfully defended his title against Patrick Cote after Cote’s knee buckled at 0:39 of round three, forcing referee Herb Dean to declare Silva winner via TKO due to injury. The win over Cote improved Silva’s lifetime record inside of the Octagon to 8-0 and his overall record to 23-4.

As of now, no other additional fights have been announced for UFC 97, however, UFC President Dana White stated during a Q&A session earlier this month prior to “UFC Fight for the Troops” that the long-awaited grudge match between Matt Hughes and Matt Serra is expected to take place in April.

  • eazye says:

    Wouldn’t Hughes/Serra be better off in the Midwest (maybe the Ohio card in March) than Montreal in April? 2 of GSP’s most famous foes fighting in his hometown, who’s the fan favorite?

  • Sabotage says:

    Yeah, I am kind of questioning the decision making here in both the match up and the fight location.

  • Tomg says:

    Having an event in Montreal without Georges St. Pierre or Pat Cote is an incredibly stupid idea. And they’re going to give a headlining bout to Hughes and Serra, who will probably both be booed?

    You’ve got to really wonder why Dana and co. think that is in any way logical.

  • GoofyMonkey says:

    They will still sell out in about 15 minutes…. We Canadians love us some mma.

  • KTru says:

    On topic here…. Does anyone actually think Leitas has a chance? slim to none… and slim will be on vacation. It is bothersome to know Silva is wasting one of last few remaining fights against a lesser opponent who in all sense, lost to Nate.

  • Mr.PIBB says:

    Montreal would sell out if the main event was Nate Diaz vs Mac Danzig.

  • Goomba says:

    Leites is a horrible matchup. His most significant win (by far) was against Marquardt, which he basically won by DQ. His most recent fight was against McFedries, who doesn’t have much of a ground game. And he got rocked by McFedries and almost knocked out. McFedries has power, but Silva will toy with Leites and still murder him.

    I’m not bashing Leites, he is a good fighter, but nowhere near the level of Silva, or former title challengers.

  • Milliniar says:

    i say this is a fight they expect him to win fast and then a LHW fight at the loser of Griffin v Evans shortly after assuming both are able.

  • Nick says:

    serra would be the fan favourite in my opinion… least if i have my way (i don’t like hughes)…

    agree with the frlloe canucks that any fighters will sell out again…..this time i’m not missing out!!! can’t wait.

  • mike wolfe says:

    Silva is going to eat Leites alive, and he won’t even have to burp when he’s done.

  • rondog6669 says:

    Should be Okomi VS Silva I don’t won’t Silva to keep jumping weight classes it ties up the belt for to long

  • dpk says:

    Hughes v Serra could headline the show that kicks off the new season of TUF. That is usually around April, and would make sense seeing how they were coaches, and then the fight never happened. This will be a stacked card in the end, just like most UFC cards, and alot of Canadian talent will be on it. I personally don’t really care to see Leites get this shot, but his subs are good, so he can’t be written off.

  • CubanLinx says:

    @ dpk: Hughes vs. Serra would never be on a Fight Night card.

  • Stan the Caddy says:

    “And they’re going to give a headlining bout to Hughes and Serra, who will probably both be booed?”

    Serra won’t be booed. He’s a very likable person and was cheered quite well after he lost to GSP. Hughes on the other hand will be booed mercilessly, the likes of which are only seen at a Habs games. God bless Montrealers.

  • Andrew says:

    Ties up the belt for who name someone who even has a chance its not tieing up anything. Silva would defend his title a month after beating a light heavy competitor.

  • Caidel says:

    Well, Silva-Leites, Hughes-Serra sound like a good main and co-main event, since Silva-Leites is not really a PPV draw and Hughes-Serra is pretty strong co-main event. But I would also expect, that they save Hughes-Serra for some midwest card. It is a not a problem for Canadien fans, since they would probably sell out any card, but by letting Hughes-Serra fight on some midwest card, they could achieve greater sales there. Hmm…

    On another note: It is quite clear, that UFC is running off of suitable oponents for Silva. Nothing against Leites, but come on: Win over Drew McFedries make you a challenger? Uh, oh.

  • Dr,Stoppage says:

    I think what’s happening here is that Dana is already planning for GSP vs. Alves on the same card.
    He just can’t announce it yet because then he’d be looking like $kala.
    Cote vs.Bisping as well.
    Just a gut feeling.
    And I have big guts.

  • KTru says:

    You may have big guts, but no sense of time. Cote will not even be back to training. Remember that injury he sustained in October versus Silva? He might be recovered from injury but far from fighting shape. As for showcasing Canadian talent…..Isnt that an oxy-moron?

  • Rob Molella says:

    Me and the other 19999 Canadians are in who do we give our money to????

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i dont get why title contenders dont have to fight other contenders to get a shot. OK sure he fought Marquadt, but what about Franklin, Hendo, fuck it cant think of anyone else. actually i guess the answer is cos Franklin and Hendo could get through the entire middleweight division and then get stuck at Silva again.
    I see the point.
    Why are Hendo and Franklin fighting at LHW? when the winner has to fight Bisping at MW after TUF9? dont get it, they should both stay at LHW

  • Voridor says:

    Okami anyone? Got okami? Silva-Leites is a snore of a fight. Silva-Cote was a nap even before the fight started and proved that Silva is bored. Joe Silva and Dana should know better. How in the hell did Leites get the title shot after the bs victory over Marquart. Nate is a better fighter anyway.

  • PImp_man says:

    @ Voridor

    Are you serious? Okami is the most boring MW fighter there is. Okami doesn’t deserve a shot either.

    He hasn’t beaten anybody but McDonald by UD and Tanner by KO. Those 2 guys aren’t exactly Top Contenders. On top of that he did it in a boring fashion.

    Thales leites Clearly won Round 1. The entire fight changed when Nate did that illegal knee that rocked leites so hard he though Herb was a fighter. Obviously you need to rewatch that fight.

  • JOe K. says:

    Marquardt destroyed Leites regardless of the illegal knee. Leites was on his way up for sure so the knee wasn’t that illegal. The back of the head thing was bull. The pile driver at the end was subjective but if that original knee wouldn’t have been illegal that fight would have been over in 30 seconds.

    Okami deserves a shot.

    It would make sense to have a GSP/Alves fight. Although if Penn wins GSP/Penn that is going to totally mess up the title picture (screws the fighters over) in 2 weight classes.

    Alves will be screwed, Florian will be screwed, GSP is getting screwed because he has everything to lose where Penn is still a champion if he loses.

    Penn did not earn a Welterweight shot. You have to earn a title shot in your weight class. You shouldn’t be able to dominate your weightclass and automatically get a title shot in a different one.

    GSP/Penn should happen however, it should not be a title shot.

  • PImp_man says:

    Anderson DESTROYED Okami at Rumble on the Rock. Okami is lucky Silva was DQ’ed. A rematch is pointless. Okami is NO THREAT!! In any aspect.

    He needs to move up to 205 END OF STORY!!

  • Alex Pelletier says:

    Even if GSP isn’t on the card, I would pay to see Hughes Vs Serra in Montréal (I live there). I wouldn’t pay to see Silva vs Leites though, especially if its the main event.

  • anom says:

    Thales doesn’t deserve a title shot at the moment. He needs to beat a contender first. His win against Nate, I simply don’t count that as a win. Let him fight Nate again and if he can beat him without any controversy….give him the title shot.
    Or even give him Yushin Okami who should be getting the title shot. I wouldn’t mind seeing Thales fight Demian Maia or Bisping first before he is even close to deserving of a title shot.

  • Johnny B says:

    Unfortunately, we’re going to see Silva vs. Leites on the Montreal card in April, and we may also see Hughes vs. Serra, which would be entertaining.

    I think Maia vs. Bisping would help the card tremendously. That would be an excellent fight to watch. Bisping at MW is fast, but Maia’s jitz is incredible.

  • crystalballer says:

    This is truly as kind as I can be. I’m seeing far to many Leites neysayersout there. Has anyone really seen what this guy has to offer, because I have. I predict an incredible match as Leites is by far the best chance for a title change to date.

    Also keep in mind that there isn’t exactly a line-up of guys in the division that want to fight Silva right now. Most of the guys are 1or 2 or possibly 3 fights away from actually contending for the belt. It’s about W’s in the win column and $ money in the bank before it’s about the title. These guys only have 1 chance to win the title or they are knocked back down the ladder to 4 or 5 under card fights before seeing another title shot. With injuries and other factors to consider this puts most fighters into or close to retirement.

    Silva has mad skills, and this cannot be disputed. However if you have seen any of his defeats they have been at the hands of a fighter with Leites like skills. To ease your concerns, I’ll be paying whatever it costs to be in the front watching when Leites puts the arm triangle choke on Silva and takes the belt. (You’ll see) Keep my name in mind.

    All the best MMA fans


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