Thales Leites - Unstoppable Middleweight UFC Champion

Thales Leites - Unstoppable Middleweight UFC Champion

1. Thales Leites Details

Name  Thales Leites Lourenco
Nickname   N/A
Born Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Current Residence  N/A
Date of Birth 6 September 1981 (age 41)
Nationality  Brazilian
College/University N/A
Last Fight September 22, 2018, in UFC
Last Weigh In  185.9lbs
Weight Class  MIddleweight
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Reach  78"(198 cm)
Career Disclosed Earnings Approximately $390,000 USD
Fighting out of  Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Foundational style  Brazilian Jiu-JItsu, Muay Thai
FavoriteTechnique  N/A
Rank   1st Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Awarded By   Welton Ribeiro
Head Coach  Andre Pederneir
Lineage NA
Team/Association Nova União

Facebook Logo  Tweeter Logo Instagram Logo

2. Thales Leites Biography

Thales Leites Lourenco is a mixed martial arts fighter,  born on 06 September 1981 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thales competed in the Middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In April 2015, Leites was ranked #10 in the official UFC Middleweight rankings.

2.1. Thales Leites BJJ Debut Match

In 2003, at Shooto Brazil Thales Leites Lourenco fought his first debut match against Felipe Arinelli. It was not a piece of cake for Leites to fight with Arinelli. The audience was supporting Felipe but they didn’t know that Thales Leites was going to surprise them via an arm-triangle choke submission.

In 2005, Leites made his debut in the Hawaii United States against Adam Roland and won the match. This was Leites' fourth consecutive martial arts victory.

2.2. Thales Leites Return To Brazil

After earning consecutive victories in the US, Thales decided to return back to Brazil. He wanted to stay in his homeland, in a strong community of Jiu-Jitsu fighters. So his first fight in Brazil was with Gustavo Machado who was undefeated in the two consecutive fights of the Japanese Pancrase Organization.

When the fight started, the anticipation of both fighters caught the attention of the audience. In the first two rounds, Gustavo remained dominant as Gustavo was more experienced compared to Thales but in the third round, Thales defeated Gustavo via submission.

Later in September, Thales' rivals decided to invite him to the Rock to fight against his hometown favorite Ronald Jhun. Before the fight, Jhun was confident that he would pin Thales down but Leite’s strategy worked and he managed to defeat Ronald Jhun via technical knockout in the second half of the fight.

2.3. Thales Leites Victories

Until 2006, Thales secured many victories. Thales' fights were admired by a large number of people but he was not able to gain much popularity to be ranked in the mainstream fighters list.

In Japan's MARS and Jungle Fight in Brazil,  Thales Leite fought with the renowned fighters, Osami Shibuya and Jose Landi-Jons ( also known as Pele ) and gained huge popularity. In both fights, Thales Leites was less trained and experienced than his opponents. But Thales' fight style was remarkable. Thales managed to defeat Osami via decision and Landi-Jons was choked.

Thales Leites in a post-fight interview shared his views about Landi-Jons.

"He was already famous when I was not even interested in mixed martial arts.” This was the time when Thales Leites' professional record was 9-0

2.4. Thales Leites UFC Debut

When Thales entered the world of UFC his biggest desire was to fight with Nate Marquardt. Thales was lucky that in September 2006 in the event Ortiz vs Shamrock 3, a fight was scheduled between Thales and Nate. Thales reached late to the place due to some missing documents. The bout was canceled which made Thales desperate and his desire was not fulfilled.

In the Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale,  Leites fought against Danish kickboxer Martin Kampmann. Thales Leites lost this match via decision. 

2.5. Thales Leites UFC Fights

Thales defeated Pete Sell and Floyd Sword in the UFC fight. Both fighters were graded professionals in the UFC. Leites remained fierce throughout the fights and defeated Pete via arm triangle choke and earned submission. 

Just in a few months' time in the UFC, Leites got his record (3-0-1). A bout between Thales and Nate was again canceled because Leites’ hand was broken during training.

2.6. Thales Leites Remarkable Victory

Thales Leites Vs Drew McFedries

Under the card UFC 90, a bout with heavy-handed Drew McFedries turned into a victory for Thales Leites. Thales not only won the fight via submission and secured Rank 1 contenders under the UFC middleweight title.

2.7. Thales Leites’ Biggest Fight and Worst Loss

Thake Leites’ popularity was increasing day by day but then came his worst defeat against Anderson Silva. After the nerve-wracking fight, Silva managed to defeat Thales via a controversial split decision. This fight is regarded as one of the worst fights in history.

When both the fighters stepped into the octagon, the only question that struck my mind was: “Could Leites get Silva to the ground?”

Silva attempted for a takedown in series and striking numbers. Thales' body was bathed in blood. Thales' every attempt failed and he seemed a bit confused about the continuous successful attempts at Anderson.

Thales Leites Vs Alessio Sakara

On the return to the octagon, again Thales was defeated by Italian pro fighter, Alessio Sakara via a controversial split decision.

Referee Marc Goddard seemed quite annoyed due to the lack of action during the fights. He stated to the fighters that mixed martial arts are a “contact sport.”

Due to his continuous losses in matches, Leites was expelled from the UFC. Dana White tried to reverse the decisions but the evidence was futile.

2.8. Thales Leites Historic Fights

The end of the UFC promotion failed to stop Leites from continuing fighting. He fought 7 fights outside of UFC starting from December 4, 2009, at MFC. against Dean Lister in the front poster event of MFC 23: Unstoppable.

Thales Leites Vs Dean Lister

Thales Leites' fight with Dean Lister was the most anticipated fight of the card. On 4th December 2009, at MFC 23, Leites secured victory against Dean Lister via decision.

Thales Leites Vs Rico Washington

Just after a few months, Thales successfully defeated Rico Washington via submission and then Jesse Taylor at MFC 25. Leites regained his UFC promotion on August 3, 2013, in UFC 163.

2.9. Thales Leites First Submission Loss

In California, on 14th August 2010, Thales Leites experienced his first submission loss in his UFC career. Thales was scheduled to fight with Falaniko Vitale but instead faced Matt Horwich who successfully defeated Thales via submission.

Then on 29 October 2010, in the Superior Challenge promotion, Leites submitted middleweight champion Tor Troeng.

2.10. Thales Leites’ Return To The UFC with Win

Thales Leites' victories revealed that he was at the boom of his UFC career. In 2013, UFC reassigned Thales Leites and on his return, he fought Tom Watson on 23 August 2013. He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Thales Leites vs Michael Bisping

Bisping remained aggressive and vigilant throughout the bout. Bisping’s strikes were enough to blow Thales out of the octagon. Leites attempted one takedown but went futile and Bisping declared the winner by decision.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight Class Location
2015 UFC Fight Night 72 Michael Bisping Loss Decision 5 Middleweight Glasgow,Scotland

Thales Leites vs Tim Boetsch

At UFC 183, this bout was a tough one and entertaining between Leites and Tim. The bout started and both players got down to striking. There came a moment when Boetsch tried to strangle Leites with a right hook. Tim was not able to ground Leites but he bounced back and got a takedown. Leites tried to attempt an arm triangle choke but Boaestch managed it well.

The fight finished in round 2 and Leites secured his fifth win.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight Class Location
2015 UFC 183 Tim Boetsch Win Submission 2 Middleweight Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

3. Thales Leites Last Fight and Retirement

At the end of UFC Fight Night 137, after a nail-biting fight against Héctor Lombard, Leites won the fight via a unanimous decision.

After the fight, he surprisingly announced the decision of his retirement. He put his UFC gloves on the arena and kneeled with his head over the gloves as a sign of traditional reverence for the sport.

He said:

"It's unbelievable, I can’t describe this moment. I have to thank everyone who has helped me throughout this. We come in here, we leave it all in the cage, I’ve been through a lot in the Octagon. My coaches believed in me, they told me to let my hands go, and that’s what I did.”

4. Thales Leites Main Achievements (MMA)

Performance of the Night (Two Times)

Year Opponent
2004 Francis Carmont
2005 Tim Boetsch

Submission of the Night (One Time)

Year Opponent
2007 Ryan Jensen

Fight of the Night (One Time)

Year Opponent
2005 Tim Boetsch

Superior Challenge (Two Time)

Year Opponent
2011 Jeremy Horn
2010 Tor Troéng

5. Thales Leites MMA Professional Record Breakdown

Professional record breakdown
37 matches 29 wins 9 losses
By knockout 4 1
By submission  16 1
By decision 9 7

5.1. Submission Methods W/L

Submission Method Wins Losses
Rear Naked Choke (RNC) 3 0
Arm Triangle Choke 7 0
TKO (Dr. Stoppage) 1 1
Knock Out ( Punches ) 1 0
Armbar 3 0
TKO (Corner Stoppage) 1 0

6. Thales Leites MMA Fight History

Date Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight Division
22-Sep-18 UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Anders Héctor Lombard W Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
12-May-18 UFC 224 Jack Hermansson L TKO (punches) 3 Middleweight
07-Oct-17 UFC 216 Brad Tavares L Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
22-Apr-17 UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov Sam Alvey W Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
19-Nov-16 UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Nogueira 2 Krzysztof Jotko L Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
06-Aug-16 UFC Fight Night: Rodríguez vs. Caceres Chris Camozzi W Submission (rear-naked choke) 3 Middleweight
27-Feb-16 UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping Gegard Mousasi L Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
18-Jul-15 UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites Michael Bisping L Decision (split) 5 Middleweight
31-Jan-15 UFC 183 Tim Boetsch W Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke) 2 MIddleweight
23-Aug-14 UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos Francis Carmont W KO (punches) 2 Middleweight
11-Apr-14 UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson Trevor Smith W TKO (punches) 1 MIddleweight
16-Nov-13 UFC 167 Ed Herman W Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
03-Aug-13 UFC 163 Tom Watson W Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
31-Mar-12 Amazon Forest Combat 2 Matt Horwich W Submission (arm-triangle choke) 2 Catchweight
30-Apr-11 Superior Challenge 7 Jeremy Horn W Decision (split) 3 Middleweight
29-Oct-10 Superior Challenge 6 Tor Troéng W Submission (rear-naked choke) 2 Middleweight
14-Aug-10 Powerhouse World Promotions: War on the Mainland Matt Horwich L Submission (rear-naked choke) 4 MIddleweight
07-May-10 MFC 25 Jesse Taylor W Submission (triangle choke) 1 N/A
25-Feb-10 Bitetti Combat MMA 6 Rico Washington W Submission (arm-triangle choke) 1 Middleweight
04-Dec-09 MFC 23 Dean Lister W Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
08-Aug-09 UFC 101 Alessio Sakara L Decision (split) 3 MIddleweight
18-Apr-09 UFC 97 Anderson Silva L Decision (unanimous) 5 Middleweight
25-Oct-08 UFC 90 Drew McFedries W Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 Middleweight
07-Jun-08 UFC 85 Nate Marquardt W Decision (split) 3 Middleweight
25-Aug-07 UFC 74 Ryan Jensen W Submission (armbar) 1 Middleweight
23-Jun-07 The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale Floyd Sword W Submission (arm-triangle choke) 1 Middleweight
07-Apr-07 UFC 69 Pete Sell W Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
11-Nov-06 The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale Martin Kampmann L Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
29-Apr-06 Jungle Fight 6 José Landi-Jons W Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke) 1 Middleweight
04-Feb-06 MARS Osami Shibuya W Decision (unanimous) 3 Middleweight
10-Dec-05 Ultimate Warriors Combat 1 Jason Guida W Submission (armbar) 1 N/A
17-Sep-05 ROTR: Qualifiers Ronald Jhun W TKO (doctor stoppage) 3 N/A
02-Jul-05 Storm Samurai 8 Gustavo Machado W Submission (arm-triangle choke) 3 Middleweight
07-May-05 Rumble on the Rock 7 Adam Roland W Submission (armbar) 1 MIddleweight
29-May-04 Vitoria Extreme Fighting 1 Flavio Luiz Moura W Submission (arm-triangle choke) N/A MIddleweight
29-May-04 Vitoria Extreme Fighting 1 Lucio Linhares W TKO (corner stoppage) 1 N/A
23-Nov-03 Shooto Brazil: Welcome to Hell Felipe Arinelli W Submission (arm-triangle choke) 2 N/A

7. Thales Leites Top Fights (Links)

Thales Leites vs Tor Troeng. SC6: Lions Den

Thales Leites VS José Landi Jons. Jungle Fight 6

UFC 216 Free Fight: Thales Leites vs Brad Tavares


Gegard Mousasi vs Thales Leites

Thales Leites vs Matt Horwich

Photo Credit: @thalesleites

Related Readings

Reading next

Fredson Paixao - The Black Belt Anomaly of BJJ
Fredson Paixao - The Black Belt Anomaly of BJJ

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.