MFC 23: Dean Lister vs Thales Leites

lister

The Maximum Fighting Championship wasted no time in finding a top-notch opponent for the recently signed Thales Leites as another big-name middleweight has joined the fray.

Former Abu Dhabi world champion Dean Lister signed a multi-fight deal last night and immediately agreed to meet Leites at MFC 23: Unstoppable on Friday, December 4 at the River Cree Resort and Casino. The bout will be the main event of the fight card broadcast live throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico on HDNet Fights.

“This is an outstanding matchup and I am particularly pleased that both Dean and Thales agreed to fight each other so quickly – no discussion, no delays. Just signed, sealed and delivered,” said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.

“It is a great fight. Both guys have a lot to prove and both guys want the MFC title belt. There’s a lot at stake in this fight and that’s when things get very interesting.”

With the signings of Lister and Leites along with the return of Jason MacDonald, the recent main-event victory by Travis Lutter, and other names such as Bryan Baker and Solomon Hutcherson, the MFC’s middleweight division has suddenly become very deep in experienced talent.

“I couldn’t be happier about reloading our 185-pound division,” noted Pavelich. “For too long the division was pretty empty but now the cupboard is full – and full of names that the fans want to see fight.”

Lister (11-6) is one of the most-decorated submission fighters in the world of mixed martial arts, and he holds career victories over such notables as Jeremy Horn, Yuki Sasaki, and Alessio Sakara. Seven of Lister’s nine submission wins have come inside the first round.

The San Diego, California, product has numerous other grappling credentials on his resume. In addition to his Absolute Division championship at the 2003 Abu Dhabi, Lister captured victories in tournament superfights in 2003 and 2005, and he holds the event record with four straight wins in the ’03 event. Lister, a master of foot and knee locks, is a two-time U.S. national sambo champion, a four-time U.S. national champion in Machado Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and a U.S. national champion in Gracie jiu-jitsu.

UFC Cuts Thales Leites, But Picks Up A Janitor (UPDATE)

thales-leites

According to Fanhouse, the UFC cut once middleweight contender Thales Leites following a split decision loss to Alessio Sakara at UFC 101. Before losing to Anderson Silva earlier this year, Leites was on a 5 fight tear trough the UFC middleweight division. The “power that be” in the UFC must have lost hope for Leites’s fan appeal, following the UFC 97 disaster fight with Anderson Silva.

Also, the UFC has announced the return of IFL Light Heavyweight Champion Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko. Matyushenko first opponent will be Igor Pokrajac on the undercard of UFC 103, on Sept. 19 from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

UPDATE 1
The UFC also cut, fan favorite, Tamdan “The Barn Cat” McCrory.

UPDATE 2
UFC President Dana White pulls rank,

UFC president Dana White wasn’t aware of plans to drop both Leites and welterweight Tamdan McCrory and said he would reverse those decisions.

They won’t be cut, White said Thursday night. [Yahoo Sports]

Smart move, Leites and “The Barn Cat” would have been a big boost to Strikeforces or any other promotions welterweight and middleweight divisions.

UPDATE 3
Iole, updated his report. After some internal discussion with UFC officials, Dana White “We are cutting them”.


UFC 101: Thales Leites vs Alessio Sakara

thales-leites

Looking to come back after his disappointing performance at UFC 97, Thales Leites will replace the injured Rousimar Palhares against Alessio Sakara at UFC 101 in Philadelphia, according to InTheGuard.

“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.”

“I only face a guy with Grappling as my main weapon … 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.”

Palhares broke his leg in training and is not expected to compete again until the end of the year.

For the latest on UFC 101, check out our UFC Rumors section.