MMAFrenzy’s live coverage of tonight’s UFC 163 pay-per-view continues with our recap of tonight’s bout between Tom Watson and Thales Leites. The middleweight pairing would see Thales Leites prove victorious in a dominating performance. The bout kept the action rolling on tonight’s PPV in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Leites Dominates Watson
Thales Leites made his return to the Octagon after a four-year hiatus to dominate Tom Watson in impressive fashion. The former number one contender showed improved striking to bloody the Brit and then dominant grappling to completely nullify Watson on the canvas. The trend continued for all three rounds, as Leites was unable to finish Watson with various submissions but controlled the fight none-the-less.
The victory was Leites fourth in a row and his first win in the Octagon since 2008. While Leites certainly impressed tonight, Watson showed heart by battling the entire fight. The tough Brit falls to 1-2 in the UFC but should get another shot in the Octagon.
Rd. 1- Herb Dean is our referee tonight. Leites gets off first with a slick combo that staggers Watson. Watson uses it gain a takedown and back control. Watson is in danger here as Leites is looking for the submission (armbar or RNC). Leites traps Watson’s arm and begins landing some ground-and-pound. Watson has his arm free now and is fighting hands but Leites is all over him. Watson bellies down but Leites follows and looks to flatten him out. Watson escapes however and lands a knee on the exit with a minute left. Headkick by Watson and he lands another right as the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Leites.
Rd. 2- Combo by Leites to start the action. Another nice combo by Leites backs up the Brit. Watson goes for the Thai clinch and Leites uses it to net a takedown and moves to side control. Leites looks for an arm-triangle but Watson escapes it. Leites has Watson’s back again after Watson tried to escape. Leites is digging for the RNC again but instead goes for the armbar. Leites has the leg over now and he extends the arm as Watson stands against the cage. Watson uses the cage to escape like a pro. Legkick by Watson. Flurry by Watson but few strikes get through. Watson has some control in the clinch but Leites lands a knee. Leites is fading and Watson lands. Big uppercut by Leites. Leites is close to a takedown as the horn blows. MMAFrenzy has it 20-18 but Leites is starting to fade.
Rd. 3- Nice left by Leites has opened Watson up above the eye. Leites is looking to control the fight against the cage. Fighters are exchanging along the cage. Leites looks for a modified broomstick takedown but it’s not there. Watson lands some shots but Leites counters with a nice double. Leites passes to the mount with ease. Strikes by Leites as Watson gives up his back to escape. Leites drags Watson back down with 90-seconds left. Arm-triangle attack by Leites from the mount but Watson is fighting it with all he has. Leites is walking to the head to get it tighter with 0:15 left. Watson holds on but was dominated on the ground. MMAFrenzy has it 30-27 Leites.
Thales Leites def. Tom Watson via unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27)