The UFC's August 23rd stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma has a pair of brand new bouts that are immediately relevant to the top 15 of both the welterweight and middleweight divisions. The UFC has confirmed Demian Maia will take on Mike Pyle, while Francis Carmont battles Thales Leites.
Maia (19-6) bounced back from a tough loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC 170 with a rare knockdown and then a decision win over Alexander Yakovlev. It was a rather easy victory, although critics will point out that once again he was unable to finish Yakovlev with his once vaunted submission skills. Pyle (26-9-1) destroyed T.J. Waldburger, also at UFC 170, to get back on the winning track after Matt Brown destroyed him in about 30 seconds. Maia is presently ranked 8th, while Pyle is 12th, so Pyle could conceivably vault his way into the top 10 with a win.
Leites (23-4) is a perfect 3-0 in his UFC return, and he picked up his first ever finish via strikes as he beat up Trevor Smith in 45 seconds at UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi. His winning streak has got him ranked 15th at middleweight and on the ascent. Meanwhile, his descending opponent, 12th ranked Francis Carmont (22-9), is on a two-fight losing skid after dropping decisions to Ronaldo Souza and most recently C.B. Dollaway. It's a bit odd that they're doing a match-up of Leites on a three-fight winning streak against someone who is on a losing streak, but the cynic can easily suggest that this is "win or be released" for Carmont more than anything else.