Could we witness a similar image on Saturday night?
The fellers over at Cage Potato did some brainstorming and have put together a list of five reasons why Thales Leites has a better chance of winning on Saturday night then you might think. Noticably missing from the list is “Hell has frozen over,” but we’ll let the Bens slide on that one. Here’s the one reason that stood out the most to me:
5. It Would Totally Screw the UFC If Leites Became Champ
For some reason, whenever the UFC lays out future plans for fighters that are too specific, or makes fights with the hope that a specific fighter will win, something goes wrong (Cro Cop/Gonzaga, anyone?). To their credit, they’ve learned from that and have mostly veered away from that philosophy. But let’s not kid ourselves, no one in the UFC is excited about the prospect of Leites as the middleweight champ, with the exception of Demian Maia. You think Anderson Silva can’t sell pay-per-views? If Leites is champ even his relatives will decide to save the money and catch the highlights on the internet the next morning. The fact that this fight has such a big potential downside for the UFC only increases the odds that their worst case scenario will come to fruition.
Therein lies the problem with booking fighters in title fights and expecting them to lose: they might potentially win. Yeah, I know Silva is unstoppable. Yeah, I know Silva has the advantage in almost every area. Yeah, I know Leites was physically dominated by Marquardt — a man who Silva destroyed with relative ease. But what if he pulls off the upset and dethrones the pound-for-pound best fighter in the entire world? I know two things for sure: (1) he’ll be the owner of a shiny new belt, and (2) you will be able to hear the sounds of Dana and Lorenzo each yelling “FUCK MY LIFE” from the confines of your living room.