by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
His near three-year run in the Ultimate Fighting Championship at an end, Thales Leites this week signed a contract to fight for Maximum Fighting Championship in Canada. MFC president Mark Pavelich announced the signing on Wednesday via his official Twitter account.
Pavelich later told MMAWeekly.com that Leites (14-3) would make his debut on Dec. 4 at MFC 23: Unstoppable in Edmonton, Alberta. His first opponent on the two-bout contract is Bryan Baker.
Leites makes the move to MFC on the heels of a two-fight skid in the UFC that saw him lose an underwhelming unanimous decision to middleweight champion Anderson Silva in April and then a split decision to Alessio Sakara in August. Prior to that, he strung together a five-fight winning streak, highlighted by a controversial win over top contender Nate Marquardt.
He faces no easy task in righting the ship against Baker (10-1). The Team Wildman fighter has reeled off four-straight victories, most recently defeating UFC veterans Matt Horwich and Rory Singer. The lone blemish on his record is to former WEC title contender Chael Sonnen.
Also expected for MFC 23 is John Alessio, who is in the midst of negotiating a new contract with the promotion. If the deal gets inked, he may fight for a vacant MFC welterweight title, as current champion Pat Healy is expected to move down to lightweight. There is also a match-up between UFC veterans Jason MacDonald and Solomon Hutcherson in the works for Unstoppable.