If you haven’t reviewed the UFC’s rankings lately, then you might have missed the fact that Mr. Thales Leites has worked his way into the middleweight division’s top ten. Yes, the man who way back when, caught so much heat for his lacklustre, 2009 scrap with Anderson Silva, continues to work his way into the title shot mix.
At UFC 183 on Saturday, the ridiculously talented grappler choked out Tim Boetsch to record his eighth straight victory, and his fifth win since he returned to the UFC. The only man who has defeated Leites in his last ten fights, and since 2010, is UFC vet Matt Horwich.
So, who does Leites want to fight now? Considering he’s coming off a win over the #14th placed Boetsch?
Well, in a recent report from MMA Fighting.com, Leites relayed the following:
“I usually don’t choose opponents, I leave that to the UFC, but I believe Tim Kennedy is the best option for my next fight,” Leites said. “I always want to be among the best, always respecting my opponents. He’s tough, he’s well ranked, and it would be an interesting fight.”
Yes, it would be an interesting fight, and it would have some sizeable rankings implications as well, like Leites noted. Kennedy is currently sitting at #8, and hasn’t fought since his controversial loss to Yoel Romero in September.
Prior to the defeat, Kennedy had put together a four fight winning streak, which included victories over Trevor Smith, Roger Gracie, Rafael Natal and Michael Bisping.
If you missed Leites-Boetsch, which is too bad since it was “Fight of the Night”, you may not know that the BJJ black belt put Boetsch away with a second round, arm-triangle-choke.
Leites also revealed that his coach, Andre Pederneiras, told him before the fight that he would win via that technique. The Nova Uniao coach had a premonition apparently….Now that’s some serious coaching.
UFC 183 went down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 31st.