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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Dana White [photo by Wade Keller (c) MMATorch]
One fight after competing for the Middleweight Title in one of the worst Title fights in UFC history, Thales Leites finds himself out of the organization. Leites was cut this week following loss to Alessio Sakara at UFC 101 according to multiple published reports.
It's a curious cut only because of the comments made by Dana White at the post-fight press conference for the Philadelphia event. When asked if Leites was in danger of being cut following his loss, White said "No. Absolutely not." He went on to say if a fighter has a bad performance he'll let them know about it but it doesn't mean they'll be cut. Apparently that wasn't the case here.
Leites came under fire from all angles after his fight with Silva. The Nova Uniao fighter wanted no part of Silva's stand up game, yet couldn't get Silva to the ground either. He flopped to his back multiple times in an attempt to have Silva follow him down, but the Champ did not comply, toying with him throughout the entirety of their five round bout. Both drew heavy criticism for the fight, but much of it was directed at Leites. After a less than adequate follow up performance at UFC 101, Leites not only lost back to back fights for the first time but looked bad in both.
Two others were cut following their losses at UFC 101 as well. Ultimate Fighter contestants George Roop and Dan Cramer are both out of the UFC. Roop was heavily outmatched against George Sotiropolous en route to a nasty kimura loss, and Cramer in only his second professional fight split his record with a loss to Matt Riddle on the undercard.
Penick's Analysis: The Roop and Cramer cuts weren't very surprising, but given White's comments at the post fight presser I'd assumed we would see Leites getting one more chance. That turns out not to be the case but the cut makes as much sense. He looked terrible against Silva in April and again against Sakara in a fight he should have won. Usually in the UFC, if you lose but you have an exciting fight or put on a great performance, your job is going to be safe. However, if you lose and look terrible doing so, they're not going to keep you around, and that's where Leites finds himself now. He's still a 14-3 fighter and will find a home elsewhere, but he's going to need to look a lot different in his next few fights before he'll get another go of it inside the Octagon.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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