When the UFC returns to Montreal in April of 2009, the Middleweight Title will be up for grabs. Anderson Silva and Thales Leites will fight for Silva’s 185 pound title in UFC 97’s main event. MMAWeekly originally broke the news after speaking to Leites.
Formerly, “The Spider” had been rumored to take on Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell at UFC 95 in London. However, Liddell made it clear that he had no desire to fight the middleweight kingpin. Silva’s manager, Ed Soares also stated that the champion would like to fight in the spring.
Leites comes into this fight with an impressive 14-1 record and has been on a tear since losing his UFC debut to Martin Kampmann in November of 2006. The BJJ black belt defeated Drew McFedries back at UFC 90 to win his fifth straight bout in the Octagon. He also won a controversial split decision over Nate Marquardt at UFC 85. Marquardt had a point deducted after landing an illegal knee to Leites’ head.
The UFC brought in its second highest grossing live gate of all time back in April at The Bell Centere. UFC 83 raked in $5.1 million dollars, making it the largest live gate in Canada’s history for a combative sporting event.