Thales trains for title fight with band of “nutcases”

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Thales gets the finish at Bitetti Combat. Photo: Carlos Ozório

Thales Leites will see action at a new promotion to crop up in the United States, War on the Mainland. The black belt will make his promotional debut August 14 with a title fight right of the bat. Besides Thales’s, two more title fights are on the card boasting a number of big names: Tim Sylvia versus Paul Buentello for the heavyweight belt, and Allan Goes against Jason Lambert for the light heavyweight belt.

“It’s a new event in the United States offering up a really great card, with Joe Silva doing the matchmaking. I hope everything works out and it stays on the world MMA calendar. I was really happy to have been invited. I was going to fight Falaniko Vitale but they switched opponents on me yesterday. Now I’ll be facing Matt Horwich for the belt. The fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view and I’m honored for being given the opportunity,” Thales tells

His opponent, Matt Horwich, holds a record of 19 submission wins, which could mean sparks flying should the fight hit the ground, since that is Thales’s specialty too.

“I know he’s a really tough guy who is on the attack the whole time. That’s one of his greatest qualities, he doesn’t stop and I feel that’s great for the fight and for me. We fought on the same night at UFC 90, that’s when I met him. His game is kind of different, but it’s efficient. The guy wouldn’t have so many submission wins if he weren’t good, nor would he have been IFL champion. If the fight hits the ground, I’m ready, but I’m ready if it stays on the feet too.”

In preparing for the fight, Thales counts on the help of a band of “nutcases.”

“I’ve been training at Delfim academy in a partnership we call ‘Los Locos.’ I, Pedro Rizzo, Vitor Miranda, Glover Teixeira and a bunch of other guys are training together. No one has lost since we started training together, so it’s been really cool. I also go to Nova União for André Pederneiras, who is my trainer and keeps up with what I’m doing, and I also workout in Niterói with Welton Ribeiro and Josuel Distak. We’re always helping each other out. This setup has me feeling a lot better and more mature,” he says in closing.

Check out the card:

War on the Mainland
14 August, 2010
California, USA

Paul Buentello vs Tim Sylvia

Allan Goes vs Jason Lambert

Matt Horwich vs Thales Leites

Diego Garijo vs Jens Pulver

Gustavo Ximu vs Rick Reeves

Terry Martin vs Jorge Ortiz

Erin Beach vs Joao Silva

Cleber Luciano vs Todd Willingham

Evan Aitkins vs Chad McCausland

Sean Choice vs A.J. Mathews

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