This Saturday, April 18, 2009, UFC 97: REDEMPTION takes place at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. The sold out, no foot-stomping event will broadcast live on pay-per-view beginning at 9pm CT.
In the main event, UFC Middleweight Champion and the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Anderson Silva (23-4), will defend his title against jiu-jitsu specialist and number ten ranked middleweight in the world, Thales Leites (14-1).
Both fighters are Brazilian, the 33-year-old Silva is from Curitiba and Leites is 27-years-old and comes from Rio De Janeiro. At six-foot-two, Silva is only one inch taller than Leites.
Silva is predominantly a striker with fourteen of his twenty-three wins coming by (T)KO. On the other hand Leites will be looking to get the fight to the ground where he will have the advantage. Nine of Leites’ fourteen wins have come by submission.
This is a very important fight for Anderson Silva for a few reasons. If Silva wins, he will have the most consecutive UFC victories of any fighter in history with nine.
Also, Silva’s last performance in the Octagon left quite a few questions in the minds of viewers and in a sense, he will be seeking “redemption” for that bout against Patrick Cote even though he won.
Leites is being viewed as a heavy under-dog. BetUS.com has Silva at -600 and Leites at +350.
It has been shown that if Silva has any chink in his armor it is on the ground, so this is the type of fighter who could pose problems for the Champ. If you have a hundred to throw away you may as well throw it away on Leites in the off chance he could submit the Champ.
In a highly anticipated co-main event, Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell fights to save his job in the UFC against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
This match is all about “redemption”. Liddell is trying to redeem himself from his knockout loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 88 and prove that he still belongs fighting among the best inside the UFC.
Although “Shogun” won his last fight, which was against Mark Coleman at UFC 93, he was heavily criticized and will be seeking “redemption” for not being able to put away the completely exhausted 44-year-old veteran sooner.
UFC 97: REDEMPTION
UFC Middleweight Championship
Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites
Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Brian Stann vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk
Luis Arthur Cane vs. Steve Cantwell
Preliminary Card (may not be televised)
Denis Kang vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam
Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry
Ed Herman vs. David Loiseau
Eliot Marshall vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Mark Bocek vs. David Bielkheden
T.J. Grant vs. Ryo Chonan
Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman