By Adam Martin
A middleweight bout between a returning Brazilian Thales Leites and Englishman Tom Watson has been booked for UFC 163, which takes place August 3 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The bout was announced today by the UFC and it will take place on the preliminary card of UFC 163.
Leites (20-4) has won six of his last seven fights since being released by the UFC, including a notable submission victory over current UFC middleweight fighter Tor Troeng. He once fought for the UFC middleweight championship when he took on Anderson Silva at UFC 97, but he was embarrassed by “The Spider” in that fight and then followed it up with a split decision loss to Alessio Sakara at UFC 101. Still, the 31-year-old Brazilian is a decent fighter and he deserves a second chance in the UFC. We’ll see if he makes the most of it.
Watson (16-5) recently defeated Stanislav Nedkov in one of the most entertaining fights of the year at UFC on FUEL TV 7. The 30-year-old native of England is thus far 1-1 in the UFC with the TKO win over Nedkov and a split decision loss to Brad Tavares and he definitely has the potential to be a force in the division because he has very fluid muay Thai striking as well as terrific heart. With a win over Leites, look for Watson to be pushed up the ladder, but this fight is not a mismatch by any means and Watson will need to be very careful of Leites on the ground if he’s to come away with the victory.
UFC 163 is headlined by UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis in what amounts to a super fight and there’s also a welterweight bout between Josh Koscheck and Demian Maia on tap.
What are your thoughts?