Thales LeitesI think if my calculations are correct, this puts the tally at one.

Of course, anything can happen once two competitors step into the Octagon, but the mountain that Thales Leites is about to attempt to climb on April 18th is a treacherous one indeed. All aspects of his game will need to be in top form at UFC 97 if Leites hopes to leave the Bell Centre with the middleweight title around his waist. Leading up to the fight, Leites is quite confident that he will have what it takes when he faces Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva in the main event of the evening.

“I can fight him standing. I will not be afraid to fight him in the standup game. I will never be afraid. I’ve been training my Muay Thai and boxing for five years and I think that I’m ready for any situation. I will be ready for anything. I know he wants to fight me standing to try and knock me out. But anything can happen. Cote was doing a good job with him closing the distance and keeping him down every time and moving forward in front of him. I’m thinking I have to do the same thing…. The most important thing is I trust in me and believe in me. He has two arms and two legs like me and like everyone else. If I believe in me and trust me and do my job I can do it. That’s it.”

Though Leites is probably deserving of a title shot, there hasn’t been much talk of him possessing the tools necessary to knock off the UFC’s top fighter. It’s good that Leites is confident enough to go toe to toe with Silva, but we’ve heard this all too often from Anderson’s opponents. More than likely, Thales Leites will become simply another one of Silva’s victims on his way to cementing his legacy.

It’s nice of Leites to point out that Silva has two arms and two legs, just like himself and everyone else, however. Now that I think about it, maybe I have what it takes to step into the Octagon with Silva as well. Then again, maybe not.

Best of luck Thales.