clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thales Leites eyes UFC middleweight Top 10, wants Tim Kennedy next

Is this 2009?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Thales Leites is the real deal ladies and gentleman.

Don't look now, but that one-dimensional jiu-jitsu aficionado that laid an egg against Anderson Silva in an Ultimate fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title fight way back at UFC 97 has since gone 11-2, including eight straight victories -- five of which have come inside the Octagon.

Leites defines resurgent contender in every sense of the word. Not only is the 33-year old the best he has ever been as a mixed martial artist, but the Brazilian is making a case to become a legitimate Top-10 contender in the stacked UFC middleweight division.

Fresh off his sensational arm-triangle submission victory over Tim Boetsch at UFC 183 -- a fight that earned him an extra $100k in bonus money -- Leites is calling out No. 8 ranked Tim Kennedy.

From MMAFighting:

"I usually don't choose opponents, I leave that to the UFC, but I believe Tim Kennedy is the best option for my next fight. I always want to be among the best, always respecting my opponents. He's tough, he's well ranked, and it would be an interesting fight."

Leites is currently sitting pretty at No. 10 in the division, and following three straight finish victories, the Brazilian has suddenly become a must watch for all types of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans.

As for Kennedy, the former Strikeforce contender has not competed since his highly controversial (technical) knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 178, in what was dubbed "stoolgate" -- more on that here.

If Kennedy opts not to drop down to the welterweight division, it will be interesting to see if UFC brass give Leites what he wants as the Brazilian continues his unlikely climb towards the top of the middleweight ladder.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania