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UFC 97: Anderson Silva-Thales Leites

Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites
23-4 Record 14-1
No. 1 middleweight
Rank No. 9 middleweight
14-0 (T)KO Record 2-0
4-2 Sub. Record 9-0
5-1 Dec. Record 3-1
W-9 Streak W-5
185 Weight 185
6-2 Height 6-1
34 Age 27
Team Nogueira
Camp Nova Uniao
Curitiba, Brazil
Hometown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Anderson Silva will defend his middleweight title against Thales Leites at UFC 97 Saturday night. The full preview is below.

Styles make fights: Their records make it clear: Silva, with the 14-0 record in fights that end by knockout or TKO, wants to keep it standing. Leites, with the 9-0 record in fights that end by submission, wants to go to the ground.

Silva says about Leites
: "The way I feel is that Thales Leites has obviously shown to the world that he deserves a title shot. Thales is a very tough fighter, very well rounded, very good on the ground."

Leites says about Silva: "I think he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. My opinion is Anderson Silva, B.J. Penn, Georges St. Pierre and Fedor Emelianenko."

What's at stake for both fighters: The middleweight title. Additionally, Silva can set a new UFC record by winning nine consecutive fights (the current record is eight straight, shared by Silva, Jon Fitch and Royce Gracie). Leites can record one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

Why Silva is favored: He's better. Much, much better. He's simply a much better mixed martial artist than Leites. That's it.

Why Leites could pull the upset: Because anything is possible in sports, and because Leites does have world-class Brazilian jiu jitsu that he can employ if the fight goes to the ground.

Silva Links:
Official site | UFC profile | Sherdog record | Wikipedia

Leites Links:
Official site | UFC profile | Sherdog record | Wikipedia

Prediction: Silva by second-round TKO.