Former middleweight title challenger Thales Leites (20-4) is set to return to the UFC for the first time since 2009, where he’ll be welcomed back to the Octagon by England’s own Tom ‘Kong’ Watson (16-5), on August 3 at UFC 163: Aldo vs Pettis.

There could be no better setting for Leites to make his return to MMA’s top flight, set to compete in his home city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the HSBC Arena. The 31-year-old last competed under the UFC banner at UFC 101, losing a split decision to Italian Alessio Sakara, following a lacklustre decision loss to reigning middleweight king Anderson Silva four months earlier. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black built has since developed a 6-1 record, fighting around the globe with notable victories over the likes of Dean Lister, Jesse Taylor, Jeremy Horn and Tor Troeng.

Despite stepping into hostile territory, Watson should carry a great deal of momentum and confidence into Rio, following a disappointing loss on his UFC debut, ‘Kong’ marched through London this past February at UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs McDonald, earning both Knockout & Fight of the Night bonuses, bringing the British crowd to their feet with a memorable victory over Stanislav Nedkov.

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