Thales Leites is only a few days from the biggest fight of his mixed martial arts career. He’ll be waiting inside the octagon this Saturday night to face UFC champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva for the UFC middleweight title. Leites is also making UFC history by being part of a UFC main event for the very first time. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert has won 5 UFC fights in a row, including 3 wins by way of submission. He has defeated top UFC names such as Nate Marquardt, Pete Sell and Drew McFedries.
Although Leites considers Silva the best pound for pound fighter in the world, he truly believes that his hardcore training will help him obtain the UFC title. He has waited years for this moment to come and he is ready to seize the opportunity come April 18, at UFC 97. The event is scheduled to take place at the Centre Bell in Montreal, Canada. The co-main event consists of a light heavyweight battle between former UFC 205-pound champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Snip from Leites via mmaweekly.com:
“The fight of my life. It’s everything I was waiting for, for a long time…Since my beginning when I started training MMA, I was thinking about this day…I don’t know how the other fighters feel. I just know that Anderson (Silva), he is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, and I have a lot of respect for him. But I trust me, and my team trusts me. I want to fight the best fighters, and I will be out there to do my best…He can beat me, and I can beat him, but I will be there 100-percent and be ready for everything…For this fight I’m doing special training for the stand-up and takedowns, you know to be ready for everything…Anderson is one of the most complete fighters. He’s an excellent stand-up fighter, he knows takedowns, and he knows the ground game too. That’s why I have to be ready for everything…I’ve been training all my life for jiu-jitsu, I think there’s my big chance on the ground, but anything can happen…When (Gabriel) Gonzaga fought against (Mirko) Cro Cop, nobody expected he could knock him out. I’m not talking like it could happen with me that way, but nobody knows. I will be ready to fight stand-up, I will be there to fight in any situation…I like training with the guys, very good sparring; they have excellent Thai guys. They have excellent wrestling guys like (Ryan) Bader and C.B. (Dollaway) and there is a teacher here, (Aaron) Simpson, he helps me a lot, showing me some good positions to do takedowns. It makes me grow my wrestling. I’m feeling great…I don’t want to think about it now. I prefer just to think about before the fight, and the fight time. Later is later for me. I just want to focus 100-percent to my fight…the most important fight of my life and I don’t want to think about later, how this can change my life. My focus is just to the fight.”