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UFC 97 Live Blog: Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites

Welcome to the FanHouse live blog of the final fight on the April 18 UFC 97 fight card, Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites for the UFC middleweight title.

Prior to the Silva-Leites main event, we had a live blog of the Chuck Liddell-Shogun Rua fight, a live blog of the three-fight UFC 97 televised undercard, and complete UFC 97 results.

The undercard is over, the Silva-Leites fight will begin just after midnight ET, and the live blog begins below.

Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites:
Leites is making his way to the Octagon. Leites is in the Octagon.
Silva is making his way to the Octagon. Silva is in the Octagon.
Round 1: This fight is underway. Both guys seem to want the other one to attack first. Absolutely nothing in the first 40 seconds. The fans are starting to boo after about 70 seconds with no action. Now Leites goes for a flying knee. We're now almost two minutes into the fight with essentially no contact. What a weird start to the fight. But now Silva comes in for an uppercut. We're halfway through the first round and very little action. Good leg kick from Leites. And now a good high kick from Leites. Leites misses with a knee and Silva takes him down with a leg kick. Leites goes to the ground and Silva stands him back up. Now Leites grabs Silva's leg and takes him down, and Silva back to his feet. Silva stomped Leites' foot and was told not to, which is a bow to the rules in Montreal. The first round is over and I give it to Leites, 10-9.

Round 2: Again, Silva seems perfectly content to wait for Leites to come to him. Leites hits with a leg kick, Silva misses a kick and then Leites takes Silva down. Silva has Leites in half guard. Leites wants to be on the ground. He's very comfortable here. Silva now moves to full guard. And now Silva has Leites in a body triangle on the bottom. Nice strike from the top by Leites. The fight is getting more active on the ground than it was on the feet. Silva gets the fight back to the feet. The crowd is booing the lack of action. Nice couple of punches from Silva. Good kick from Silva. A very close round that I give to Leites, 10-9.

Round 3: Silva lands a good jab and maybe he'll be more active. Silva knocks Leites on his back. They're on their feet and Silva is stalking Leites. I think Silva poked Leites' eye but the ref didn't see it. Leites is on his back and Silva is landing some kicks, and now Leites stands back up. Silva starting to push the pace. This is the furthest into a fight that Silva has been in the UFC, two minutes into the third round. Silva lands some strikes. Leites keeps going to the ground and Silva is getting annoyed. Silva's streak of beating nine straight opponents in the first half of the fight is over. We're more than midway through the fight and Leites is very much still alive. Leites keeps going to the ground on his back and Silva just stands him back up. Now Silva is really starting to utiliize his Muay Thai skills. Silva lands a good right hand and follows with a leg kick. Leites goes to his back again. Silva, 10-9. Leites did nothing that round. Could be a 10-8 round.

Round 4: The first time Silva has fought into the fourth round. Leites doesn't want to engage. Silva is landing kicks to the knee, and those are going to hurt. Silva's leg kicks are really adding up. Silva has really punished Leites this round. Silva is pouring it on, and Leites looks totally spent. The crowd is getting restless because Leites really isn't doing anything, and Silva isn't going for the kill. Leites goes for a takedown but can't get it. Silva just keeps landing the leg kicks. Silva is just destroying Leites' left leg. Silva is just begging Leites to come at him, and Leites is totally worn down. Another good round for Silva, 10-9.

Round 5: Silva lands another leg kick. And another. They go to the ground and Leites goes for a leg lock. Now Silva gets on top of Leites and lands some strikes on the ground. Leites' face has been bloodied. Back to the ground and Silva lands more punches. The fans are getting angry and chanting "BS." Leites on his back again, and the fans are chanting "GSP," as if to say Georges St. Pierre is better than Silva. Silva catches Leites' kick and takes him to the ground, and once again the ref has to stand Leites up. This has been an extremely strange fight. I give the fifth to Silva, 10-9. Anderson Silva beats Thales Leites by unanimous decision.

UFC 97 Photos

    Chuck Liddell and Shogun Rua shake hands before their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Chuck Liddell, right, punches Shogun Rua during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Chuck Liddell, right, punches Shogun Rua during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Chuck Liddell, left, punches Shogun Rua during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Shogun Rua, right, attempts to punch Chuck Liddell during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Shogun Rua takes down Chuck Liddell during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Chuck Liddell and Shogun Rua battle during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Chuck Liddell and Shogun Rua battle during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Shogun Rua pounds Chuck Liddell during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC

    Shogun Rua pounds Chuck Liddell during their match at UFC 97 on Saturday, April 19, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

    UFC