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Thales Leites’ UFC Release Matured Him

Thales Leites’ UFC hopes came to a crashing halt in 2009. While the release might have been a disappointment, it helped Leites mature as a person.

“I got my mind straight again, and today, I see that it [being cut] was good for me because I’m more mature, I’m more confident in myself, and everything is better now,” said Leites to

He was released after posting a 5-3 record and off a pair of losses, which included a middleweight championship shot.

Leites would need to go 6-1 before the UFC decided to rehire him. He will take on Tom Watson at UFC 163.

Watson took Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night to Stanislav Nedkov earlier in the year. He’s a former middleweight champion for BAMMA.

UFC 163 is August 3 from Brazil’s HSBC Arena.