The UFC officially announced on Sunday that UFC 97, which will be held on April 18 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, will feature a championship main event. Anderson Silva (23-4 MMA, 8-0 UFC) will take on recently announced number one contender Thales Leites (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) for the Middleweight Title.
This will be Silva’s first title defense since last October when he beat contender Patrick Cote (14-5 MMA, 4-5 UFC) in a very controversial match that ended with Cote blowing out his knee in the third round. Many people criticized the talented Silva for not fighting his hardest throughout the fight.
The UFC 90 main event marked the first time that Anderson Silva had been taken past the second round. The champion appeared to be, in a sense, toying with the Canadian native, Cote. Silva admitted to wanting to take the fight to the later rounds to try and test himself and planned on finishing Cote later in the fight.
Silva has been very vocal about his feelings after being criticized for his performance against Cote. Don’t be surprised to see the champion come into the fight against Leites looking to put on the dominate performances the UFC and the fans like and expect.
Along with Silva and Cote, Thales Leites also competed on the UFC 90 card. He took on the heavy handed Drew McFedries ( 7-6 MMA, 3-4 UFC) and submitted him in less than two minutes into the first round.
Heading into 2009 with a five fight win-streak inside the Octagon, Leites, a Rio de Janeiro native, is ready for a shot at the long running middleweight champion.
This card will also be co-headlined by Chuck Liddell against Mauricio Rua in one of the most intriguing match ups this year. Other fighters included on this card are ex-WEC fighters, Brian Stann and Steve Cantwell along with “The Ultimate Fighter” cast members Krzysztof Soszynski, Ed Herman, Nate Quarry, and Matt Wiman.
With the response the faithful Canadian fans gave last April at UFC 83, this card will surely be sold out in no time.
By: Tim Thompson