Though most of the talk about UFC 97 revolves around Anderson Silva's underwhelming performance, you have to wonder what was going through Thales Leites' head. He had a title shot, but instead of snatching the belt off of Silva, he flopped around, and didn't engage the champ.
So what happens to him now? How far does he fall? Though the discussions of title fights at middleweight revolve around Yushin Okami and Demian Maia, Leites will need a rebound fight. Perhaps he and Chael Sonnen can meet up and try to prove which one deserves their spot in the UFC. Maybe he just needs the crap beat out of him by Nate Marquardt.
Beyond who he fights, the focus for Leites will need to be on how he fights. Whether it is right or not, in the UFC, winning doesn't seem to be enough. How you win is important. Leites losing wasn't his only crime; it was losing while the crowd was so bored that they began to chant, "G-S-P." Leites needs to use the fight-ending skills that earned him the title shot in the first place, or he may find himself looking for a job.
- Thales Leites
- Chael Sonnen