Thales Leites steps in for Rousimar Palhares at UFC 101

After a disappointing performance and unanimous decision loss against UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, Thales Leites will be stepping back into the Octagon at UFC 101.

Leites confirmed today he will be stepping in for the injured Rousimar Palhares to fight Alessio Sakara at UFC 101 on August 8th at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Palhares suffered a fractured tibia and underwent surgery last week in Brazil.

“What is most important is getting back to fighting as soon as possible. I know that I didn’t fight well, that things didn’t go as I wanted against Anderson Silva, so nothing is better than starting again,” Leites told Intheguard.tv. The former number one contender also added, “I know that the expectations will be enormous, because now I need to show that I deserve another shot at the title. But this is good, it will give more motivation.”

The match-up of Sakara vs. Leites will be a classic striker vs. grappler fight and looks to ultimately end up one of only two ways; via knockout or submission. It will be interesting to see what strategy Leites attempts to employ against the American Top Team knockout artist, Sakara.

Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara is 13-7 with eight of his wins coming via knockout. Sakara has gone 4-4 (plus 1 no contest) in his up and down tenure with the UFC and is coming off of a dramatic knockout win over Joe Vedepo via head-kick at UFC Fight Night 15.

Thales Leites is 14-2 and has recorded eight of his wins via submission. Leittes is 5-2 in the UFC with his only losses coming by decision. His most recent fight was a lackluster performance against Anderson Silva at UFC 97 on April 18th.

By:  Jeff Howard