UFC 163: August 3, 2013 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil UFC Middleweight Thales Leites (-140) Profile: Thales Leites (20-4) is no stranger to the UFC, fighting his way up to Anderson Silva in a bid for the middleweight title at UFC 97, which created one of the weirdest and worst matches in modern memory. Rather than dwell on that, we will move ahead. Following his boot from the UFC after losing a split-decision to Alessio Sakara, the 31-year-old Brazilian went 6-1 across the indie circuit. His only loss coming at the hands of Matt Horwich, a loss he later avenged. He also defeated Jesse Taylor and Jeremy Horn, and has now been brought back into the big show before another company snags him up. His BJJ is his number one weapon, and Thales will look to it early and often, but in recent years he’s developed a more expansive repertoire of skills. UFC Middleweight Tom Watson (+100) Profile: Tom Watson (16-5) lost a disappointing split-decision to Brad Tavares in his Fight of the Night UFC debut at UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic, then made everyone remember why he had such a huge amount of hype on entering the UFC, when he TKO’d Stanislav Nedkov impressively in London on UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. MacDonald. Watson has good wrestling, or at least a good top game, but is at his best on his feet. He should be even more comfortable and past his ‘UFC jitters’ at this stage, which makes the 31-year-old Brit a tough opponent for most, as he has a good cage IQ. Opening UFC 160 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Leites a -140 favorite (bet $140 to win $100) while Watson opened as a +100 underdog (bet $100 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook. Watson is 1-1 in the UFC and many thought he would get a step up in competition after his barnburner with Nedkov, but the UFC signed Leites back to the roster and now the former UFC title challenger is Watson’s next opponent. This is an interesting match and it’s a close fight on paper which is why most fans are split on who will win. Ultimately it comes down to whether or not Watson can keep the fight standing because if he does he has an excellent muay Thai clinch, but if the fight goes to the ground Leites can submit him. So it’s a tricky match and that’s why the line is so close.