Former UFC middleweight title contender Thales Leites will likely return to action for the first time since being released from the UFC to take on WEC veteran Bryan Baker at MFC 23: "Unstoppable" on Dec. 4 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
As previously reported by FiveKnuckles.com, Leites signed with the MFC last month. His August release from the UFC surprised many as the talented submission specialist fought for the promotion's middleweight title just four months prior.
Leites (14-3) is coming off of a close split decision loss against Alessio Sakara at UFC 101 in August. Prior to the loss at UFC 101, he had earned a shot against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva after winning five consecutive fights. He went on to lose a lackluster five-round decision against Silva at UFC 97 in April in a bout that drew a good amount of criticism for his cautious approach.
Leites exited the UFC with a 5-3 record, with wins over Pete Sell, Floyd Sword, Ryan Jensen, Nate Marquardt and Drew McFedries. The six-year veteran has finished 11 of his 14 career wins, including nine coming via submission. He holds other career wins over Jason Guida, Lucio Linhares, Gustavo Machado and Jose Landi-Jons.
Baker is currently on a four fight winning streak, with his most recent win coming against Matt Horwich at Bellator 9 in June. Prior to the winning streak, he suffered his lone career loss against Chael Sonnen at WEC 33. The loss against Sonnen was Baker's last fight in the WEC. He exited the ZUFFA-owned promotion with a 2-1 record, with wins over Jesse Forbes and Eric Schambari.
Baker sports a near-perfect MMA record of 10-1, with seven of his wins coming via submission including five coming by TKO or KO. He holds other career notable wins over Jesse Juarez, Reggie Orr and Rory Singer.