UFC Gives Thales Leites His Walking Papers

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mentalcase
8/13/09 2:50:24AM
Thales Leites, who less than four months ago competed for the UFC middleweight title, was given his walking papers in a meeting Wednesday afternoon with the UFC, FanHouse confirmed with a source close to Leites.

Leites (14-3) had exclusively fought for the UFC since The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale in November 2006, where he lost his promotional debut to Martin Kampmann, but would bounce back with five straight wins to earn a shot against champion Anderson Silva. However, after the two turned out a lackluster and tentative five-round performance, both faced heavy criticism and required a strong follow-up outing to restore their reputation.









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Nightmare27
8/13/09 3:06:17AM
I cant say I didnt expect it but its still kinda crazy. I thought that the Leites vs Sakara fight was alright. He could have had that triangle it he has another thirty seconds in the second round. Strikeforce should pick him up.
dangerfield
8/13/09 3:23:33AM
I was waiting for this after I heard The Barn Cat had been let go. No way could they let go a decent and exciting up-and-comer and keep Thales, which is sad for him, no.1 contender to unemployed in two fights. That's a bad two fights.
Lyoto1983
8/13/09 4:54:08AM
I think that ufc make mistake with Thales release because he is young and very promising fighter but as of late they dont givs a **** about tallent
RearNakedJoke
8/13/09 5:01:31AM
its the curse of silva. everyone that has fought him in the ufc (except for hendo and marquardt) have been left physically or mentally broken. the guy ruins careers.

Leben - string of on-off performances lost to bisping then a possitive test for illegal substances.

franklin - destroyed twice and really hasnt seemed like the same fighter since. now stuck in weight class limbo never to be a contender in the near future.

lutter - followed up his loss to silva by getting KO by franklin then getting the boot from the ufc. hasnt fought since.

irvin - been on and off the injured list and hasnt fought since.

cote - still rehabing a knee injury almost a year later.

leites - lost to sakara, now fired.

forrest - ran for the hills. (never to be heard from again?)

the man ruins careers i say!! hendo and marquardt have already been cursed its just lying dormant waiting for a rematch to rear its ugly head.

end conspiracy theory.




DCRage
8/13/09 5:11:40AM
And Dana even said after 101 he wasn't in danger of being cut.
Rush
8/13/09 6:59:02AM
If this is based on his performance in the last two fights, then it's really sad. The UFC really has a double standard when it comes to its fights. They'll hold a sloppy slug fest like Griffen vs. Bonnar to the highest standard, but if a good technical fighter has a bad fight, they send him packing. What adds insult to this is when they cut a fighter one or two fights after a title shot.

It is possible that there is more to this story, but at face value I am left shaking my head.


I hope Thales gets picked up and paid well by another org because he has a family to support.
Brain_Smasher
8/13/09 7:51:18AM
No suprise. The UFC operates on a budget like any other company. People cant expect the UFC to pick up good fighters from IFL and Affliction and not let some fighters go.

Fact is Thales cant be protected from 1 style of fighter because he has trouble with them. He has got 2 strikes and been ineffective verses them. Looking like a 3rd rate fighter vs Silva is understandable. But Sakara is lucky to even be in the UFC and Thales couldnt even beat him. Sakara is fun to watch in some fights. But he gets owned by career B level fighters and struggles to put away c level fighters like Ron Faircloth. This should have been a showcase fight for Thales. The middle weight division is thin and needs credible challengers. Thales has been to inconsistent and looked pathetic vs Silva to think he has much credablity as a challanger.

Its best for him to start over somewhere else. Good move for both parties.
Khaos
8/13/09 8:20:41AM
I'm not very suprised about it, he's a talented fighter, but on two losses. I think he's good enough to where they'll bring him back sometimein the future.
SmileR
8/13/09 8:29:40AM
Wasn't his last fight his last on his contract with the UFC? It might be that they couldn't agree terms for a new contract an they went their separate ways. The source seams very vague about why he was let go.
im2fast4u1981
8/13/09 8:33:08AM
i give this a matter of days before strikeforce signs him..........leites is still a very good mw boring or not......................
scoozna
8/13/09 10:35:28AM
I say the tougher the competition gets in the UFC, the better the chances a StrikeForce or other promotion have of surviving.

So kick him out of the UFC if he's not "exciting" enough, and then we have a bona-fide talent in the other promotions. It's a win-win.

I think you'll see it more and more with these top-notch BJJ guys who don't develop their stand-up game (fast enough).
ncordless
8/13/09 10:50:48AM
Thales needs to go back to the gym and learn some stand-up from his teammates.
KaibaThedon
8/13/09 12:44:54PM
Quite disappointing that he couldn't put away Sakara, I mean they basically threw him a striker so he'd have someone to submit, and he couldn't close.

Thales will probably fight a few times and be back in the UFC
nickcuc547
8/13/09 1:40:02PM
Thales is good but hey, you lose to allesio sakara you deserve to be cut.
Hendo67
8/13/09 2:02:30PM
Goes from fighting for a title, to the undercard, now cut...

He didn't deserve the title shot, however... i'm not sure if he deserved to be cut either, hopefully he re-generates himself.
SpiderSilva
8/13/09 2:46:02PM
I would like to see him in DREAM vs Paulo Felio(not sure on spelling) that would be a test for him on the ground
GSPCanada
8/13/09 3:00:40PM
to be honest the ufc needs to worry a little bit, i dont believe thales deserved the title shot buit at the same time he still is a top mw, the ufc has released some of the top mw's with lutter doerksen filho and thales, if these guys can go out and get into the same organization as guys like shields riggs lawler, then who knows. this is the ufcs weakeast division and they r cutting the better guys
telnights
8/13/09 3:18:25PM
You know I don't have a problem with this. Leites needs to round out his game and this is the wake up call for him to do so. His stand up and wrestling are very lacking to say the least and he just lost to guy who isn't what I would call a top level fighter. To top it off he got his title shot because of a bad judging and a bad call by a Ref in the Nate fight. The only reason he even got a top 10 ranking was his win over Marquardt.
GrandMaster313
8/13/09 3:53:00PM
Thales is a great fighter and I wish him the best where ever he goes next. But I think the UFC sort of exposed him,maybe not intentionally, but exposed him none the less. We see what happens to fighters that depend on the ground game too much. Leites's chance against well rounded strikers with good take down defence proves to tilt in his opponent's favor. What do we as the fans get in return ...... ? Well if you don't know that answer then I suggest you look at all 3 of his loss's.

The only objection I have in this whole matter is why didn't he get at least 1 more fight?
Rush
8/13/09 7:18:27PM

Posted by telnights

You know I don't have a problem with this. Leites needs to round out his game and this is the wake up call for him to do so.




If this is the criterium for whether fighters stay or get cut, a lot of top level fighters (including some ex-champions) should have been cut a long time ago.
Rush
8/13/09 7:20:28PM

Posted by SmileR

Wasn't his last fight his last on his contract with the UFC? It might be that they couldn't agree terms for a new contract an they went their separate ways. The source seams very vague about why he was let go.




This was what I was talking about when I said that there may be more to the story. Thales might have wanted more than the UFC felt he was worth.
telnights
8/14/09 2:22:09AM

Posted by Rush


Posted by telnights

You know I don't have a problem with this. Leites needs to round out his game and this is the wake up call for him to do so.




If this is the criterium for whether fighters stay or get cut, a lot of top level fighters (including some ex-champions) should have been cut a long time ago.



I didn't say that's why the UFC cut him. I'm just saying it may help him out. He is a good ground fighter but lacks the take downs (wrestling) or stand up to take true advantage of his BJJ. So getting cut may push him to round out these areas he is lacking in. Plus he was ranked a top 10 from a win he really didn't win. I still feel he is overrated, not to say I don't think he belongs in the UFC just feel this may be best for him and light a fire in him. Right now he has great BJJ but not the skills to get the fight where he wants it to use his BJJ. He has the same problems a lot of great BJJ guys have and that's the lack the ability to keep it standing or the ability to take it to the ground.
Rush
8/14/09 9:38:23AM

Posted by telnights

I didn't say that's why the UFC cut him. I'm just saying it may help him out. He is a good ground fighter but lacks the take downs (wrestling) or stand up to take true advantage of his BJJ. So getting cut may push him to round out these areas he is lacking in. Plus he was ranked a top 10 from a win he really didn't win. I still feel he is overrated, not to say I don't think he belongs in the UFC just feel this may be best for him and light a fire in him. Right now he has great BJJ but not the skills to get the fight where he wants it to use his BJJ. He has the same problems a lot of great BJJ guys have and that's the lack the ability to keep it standing or the ability to take it to the ground.



Fair enough. Though I look at it from this perspective. If he gets sent to orgs, fighting easier competition, there will be no driving force for him to improve his wrestling. Given his statements on the matter, it doesn't seem clear to him why he was cut other than the fact he lost his fight.

I personally never thought he was over or underrated, though I agree he shouldn't have gotten a title shot from the Marquardt win. That being said, he did hold his own against Marquardt, a guy many consider to be one of the top UFC MW fighters.

Regarding BJJ guys, I totallly agree, but I think the rules of MMA in the octagon favour wrestlers over strikers and submission guys. I would even say that the rules favour strikers over submission guys (wrestlers > strikers > BJJ ) There are always exceptions, but it seems inevitable that really good pure BJJ guys will tend to struggle in the UFC.
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