Anderson Silva Refused To Finish Thales Leites At UFC 97 Because They're Friends

Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Chael Sonnen during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

In the last two years, UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva has become one of the UFC's must see attractions. Prior to UFC 112, despite his incredible performances Silva consistently failed to draw the eyes of PPV buyers. Despite many incredible performances, he had always lacked the drawing power of other UFC champs. Since then, Silva has turned the corner with fans with incredible performances against Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. However, many veteran fans still hold his lackluster fights against Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, and Demian Maia against him.

Those performances led Tatame to ask Anderson Silva if he'd ever intentionally lengthen a fight:

There’s no such thing as holding back. I want to finish as soon as possible. The only time I did it was because he was a friend of mine. It was against Thales Leites. We went until the last round because he’s a friend of mine and I respect him

In the 3 years since their fight, neither Silva nor Leites have mentioned this supposed friendship.

Currently, Anderson Silva does not have a fight scheduled as he waits for the Middleweight division to determine a worthy champion. Many people are championing Chris Weidman to dethrone Silva in the wake of his UFC On Fuel 4 victory over Mark Munoz. But he's not the only one in the race. The winner of Michael Bisping Vs. Brian Stann at UFC 152 will also have a claim as contender, as well as Tim Boestch who's holding two top-10 wins under his belt.

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