Recent middleweight title challenger Thales Leites has been tapped to replace an injured Rousimar Palhares and square off with Alessio Sakara at UFC 101 on August 8th in Philadelphia.
Leites confirmed the bout to InTheGuard.tv earlier today.
Palhares was forced to withdraw from the 185-pound bout on Saturday after suffering a broken leg during training.
“What is most important is getting back to fighting as soon as possible”, Leites told intheguard.tv, “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 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.”
Prior to his unanimous decision loss to middleweight champion Anderson Silva in April, Leites (14-2) had won five-straight UFC bouts over Pete Sell, Floyd Sword, Ryan Jensen, Nate Marquardt, and Drew McFedries. His only other career loss came in 2006 to Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut.
Sakara is 4-4 with one no contest in nine bouts inside the octagon. Sakara dropped down to middleweight from light heavyweight following a 3-3 start to his UFC career, but suffered a first-round TKO to Chris Leben last March at UFC 82 in his debut at the new weight class. In his most recent bout, “Legionarius” earned his first win at 185-pounds with a first-round knockout of Joe Vedepo at UFC Fight Night 15 last July.