Thales Leites Replaces Rafael Natal, Faces Ed Herman at UFC 167

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterOctober 3, 2013

Aug 3, 2013; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; Thales Leites (red shorts) fights against Tom Watson (black shorts) during UFC 163 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports
Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

After a fight-card shuffle that saw Lyoto Machida replace the injured Michael Bisping against Mark Munoz (and Rafael Natal, who was scheduled to face Ed Herman, step in to replace Machida against original opponent Tim Kennedy), the dust has finally settled, and Thales Leites will face Herman at UFC 167.


The UFC announced the news Wednesday evening via its brand-new @UFCNews Twitter account, which will be utilized to announce fight bookings.

Herman, 33, made his way into the UFC as a contestant on season three of The Ultimate Fighter, where he lost by unanimous decision in the finals to Kendall Grove. Since that day in 2006, Herman has amassed a record of 8-6-1, most recently competing at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Moraga in July, where he beat Trevor Smith by split decision.

Leites, 31, infamously challenged Anderson Silva for the middleweight championship at UFC 97 on April 18, 2009. Leites injured his knee early in the fight and spent the majority of 25 minutes lying on his back, waiting for Silva to try something. Anything. It never happened, and the result was quite possibly the worst title fight in the history of mixed martial arts.

The fight was so awful, in fact, that Leites would get just one more chance in the UFC and was cut after losing to Alessio Sakara at UFC 101. He returned to the promotion at UFC 163, beating Tom Watson by unanimous decision.

UFC 167 takes place November 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a welterweight title fight between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Chael Sonnen faces Rashad Evans in the co-main event.