Thales Leites returns to the UFC to battle Tom Watson at UFC 163

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A middleweight collision is now on tap for UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 3. Thales Leites, a one-time challenger to Middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva’s belt, will make his return to the UFC and will square off against Tom “Kong” Watson at the HBSC Arena. announced the match-up on their official website on Thursday afternoon.

Leites (20-4, MMA) first fought with the UFC making his debut back in 2006 on The Ultimate Fighter season 4 finale. Though he lost a decision to Martin Kampmann, Leites rebounded with a five fight win streak including victories over Pete Sell and Nate Marquardt. Despite facing Silva for the title at UFC 97 and losing via unanimous decision, the Brazilian jiu jtsu black belt was the first man to go all five rounds with Silva inside the Octagon. Leites was released from the UFC following his next fight, a loss to Alessio Sakara.

Watson (16-5, MMA) is coming off of his first win in the UFC, a TKO victory over Stanislav Nedkov at UFC on FUEL TV 7. A former BAMMA Middleweight Champion, Watson has won 4 of his last 5. The only setback was a split decision loss in his UFC debut to Brad Tavares.

A UFC Featherweight Championship bout between Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis is expected to headline the event.

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