The following is from our live coverage of UFC 97 on FightLine.com
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites
Round one: Both fighters tentative early, no punches thrown for the first minute as the crowd gets restless. Very little action in the second minute as well as the boos begin. Big leg kick and a high kick by Leites result in minimal damage. Leites swept to the ground by Silva but Silva stays on his feet and allows the challenger back to his feet. Leites attempts a takedown but can’t get the champ to the mat. They clinch into the cage as the round ends. Not much action to score but we’ll give the round to Silva, 10-9.
Round two: Leites begins the round with another big leg kick and takes Silva down. Silva has Leites in half guard with a lock down on Leites’ leg. Silva gets full guard but Leites postures as Silva goes for an arm. The champ gets to his feet and the fight continues standing. The crowd boos with 90 seconds left in the round as the standing action is again slow to develop. Loose exchanges and measuring jabs continue to the dismay of the crowd as the round ends. Our card gives Leites a 10-9 advantage for the round.
Round three: Leites once again lands the early leg kick then slips to his back as he attempts a takedown. Silva lets him up then what appears to be an accidental eye poke sends Leites to the canvas again. He recovers and Silva lets him up yet again. They exchange leg kicks but no serious damage being done on their feet. The Canadian crowd goes into a loud chant of “GSP” as their frustration heightens. Silva starts to ignite landing a vicious leg kick some good punches. Leites has some blood under his left eye as the round ends. Silva 10-9 for the round.
Round four: A series of straight leg kicks from Silva to begin round 4. Silva appears to be toying with Leites, dancing with his hands low. The champ still throwing straight kicks to Leites’ upper leg and knee area. A takedown attempt by Leites is averted. Silva continues to throw kicks to Leites’ left leg but the action is still relatively slow as the crowd once again voices their displeasure. The leg kicks win the round for Silva, 10-9.
Round five: Leites trying to push the pace to start the final round. Silva defends a takedown and gets on top where he lands a few punches. The champ lets him up again. The fight goes to the ground once again with the same result as Silva lets him up after a few punches. The crowd chants “boring” at the halfway mark of the round then goes back into “GSP”. Leites attempts another takedown, shrugged off by Silva. Leites goes to his back as another kick lands to his left leg. The champ lets him up yet again where the pace of the standup remains the same until the round ends. Round five also goes to Silva by a 10-9 score on fiveknuckles’ card.
Final result: Silva wins by unanimous decision.