Earlier this month, UFC president Dana White stated that Thales Leites was likely to get the next shot at middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s title. It appears that will indeed be the case as the two are headed on a collision course to square off at UFC 97 in Montreal, Canada.
Leites confirmed the April 18th bout with MMAWeekly.com.
“I’m very happy, this is the fight of my life, and I will training hard every single day,” Leites told the website. “Anderson is a amazing fighter and champion. Thanks UFC for this opportunity, I will do my best.”
Silva has not fought since his less than memorable performance against Patrick Cote at UFC 90 in October. Since then, the Brazilian has taken some time to right his MMA game once again.
MMA enthusiasts have been critical of the champ’s performance against Cote, however he has rolled off nine consecutive wins, with the last eight coming inside of the Octagon.
Leites lost to Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut, but has won five consecutive in the UFC since. With a professional record of 14-1, it would be difficult for the UFC to find a 185-pounder more worthy of a title fight.
This will be the UFC’s second ever MMA event in Canada, with their April “UFC 83: Serra vs St-Pierre II” event selling out in a matter of minutes. It is likely that hometown sensation Georges St-Pierre will be on this card as well, assuming he exits his January 31st showdown against BJ Penn in good health.