Former UFC middleweight title challenger Thales Leites is definitely making the most of his second chance with the organization. He improved to 4-0 in his latest Octagon stint by destroying Francis Carmont in the second-round of their 185-pound clash at Fight Night 49 in Tulsa, OK. The explosive effort earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
After a competitive opening round that failed to produce much in the way of action, Leites would end the fight in explosive fashion just 20 seconds into the middle frame. The Brazilian would stun “Limitless” with a huge right hand and would end the contest with a flurry of punches that left Carmont in a heap. It was the second straight knockout win for Leites and he has shown tremendous improvement in his striking game. He needed just 45 seconds to blitz Trevor Smith at Fight Night 39, and has also recorded victories during this successful run against Ed Herman and Tom Watson.
It’s been quite a career reinvention for Leites, who was known primarily for his tremendous submission skills. He went 5-3 in his initial UFC tenure and had a failed middleweight title bid back in 2009 at UFC 97 against Anderson Silva in what was a truly bizarre affair. Leites lost that debacle in Montreal via unanimous decision and was released by the organization after another loss to Alessio Sakara. He’s now riding an impressive seven-fight win streak after his triumph against the previously No. 12-ranked Carmont.
Leites is bound to improve upon his No. 15 ranking and is proving that he has more weapons at his disposal than just a dangerous ground game. He should be in line to face a top-10 opponent in his next appearance. Meantime, there’s a good chance that Carmont could be facing the chopping block after suffering a third straight defeat.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.