Brad Tavares Wins via Decision UFC 216

Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares

Round 1 – Tavares counters a leg kick with a punch and follows with a jab. Leites goes back to the legs as Tavares keeps that lead fist going. One-two misses for Brad Tavares. Leites’ head kick nearly draws right hook counter. Nice jab from the American, and another. Leites slips in a right hook off a Tavares shot. He loads up on a right, but it’s blocked. Standup fight so far. Tavares pops the ribs with a kick. Leites closing in. A left hook catches Leites flush, and he’s on wobbly legs. Knee from Tavares misses, and Leites slows things down with a clinch against the cage. Tavares tries to turn and escape, but Leites has his arms around the waist. Referee Chris Tognoni separates them after a short while. Leites throwing big shots while Tavares waits patiently. A jab prompts a single-leg attempt from Leites, who ties up against the cage again. Tavares to his side to keep Leites away, and Tognoni separates them again. Leites sits down on hooks and gets caught with a big shot to end the frame. MMAjunkie scores the opening frame 10-9 for Tavares.

Round 2 – Tavares opens with an inside leg kick. Leites’ head kick blocked. Another nice jab from Tavares, who follows with a leg kick. Leites punches in and winds up catching a right cross. Tavares starting to land regularly on the inside. Jab cutting up Leites’ face. The Brazilian’s face is bleeding. His aggression and looping punches have yet to pay dividends. His low kick is his best weapon so far. Inside low kick for Tavares. They trade jabs, and Tavares gets out of the way of a hook. Nice jab for Tavares. He follows with a pair of kicks. Leites powers into a takedown attempt and briefly deposits his opponent on the mat. Tavares uses whizzer to get up and reverses position against the cage. Knee attempt from Leites instead results in a trip, and Tavares withdraws to center cage. Left hook lands for Tavares on the back end of combo. A leg kick spins Leites around. One-two short for the Brazilian. Tavares counters leg kick with straight right. Nice uppercut inside from Tavares. Body kick lands for Leites. Jab snaps Leites’ head. MMAjunkie gives Tavares the second round, putting him up 20-18.

Round 3 – Touch of gloves from the vets. Leites digs a leg kick, and the two trade punches before Leites pushes in for a takedown. Again, he’s stymied against the fence by a whizzer. Tognoni warns for activity. Tavares reverses position against the cage and knees the legs. Tavares resets and sticks a jab. The two are throwing down. Leites the busier fighter, though his punches aren’t haven’t the same effect. Tavares sticks another jab and then goes after Leites when Leites chases his mouthpiece after it goes to the fence. Tognoni stops the action to recover. Leg kick from Tavares. Leites’ face is busted up. He’s throwing, but Tavares’ counters are chewing him up. Finally, a kick sends Leites to the mat off a dive for a takedown. Leites is limping obviously now. A jump for a knee, he can’t even. Tavares chops the leg out again and waves his opponent up. Leites immediately shoots for a takedown. He just doesn’t have the gas or the muscle. Tavares hanging tough with one minute remaining. Looks like this one might get separated, and indeed, it is. Leites misses badly on a takedown dive, and Tavares now standing over him at the cage. Looks like this one is going to end with some kicks to the leg. Tavares finally swarms and lands a flurry punches to end the fight. A shutout on MMAjunkie’s scorecard for Tavares with 30-27.

Result: Brad Tavares def. Thales Leites via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Recap: Brad Tavares jabs, kicks way to unanimous decision over Thales Leites
Photos: Brad Tavares vs. Thales Leites
Records: Leites (27-8 MMA, 12-7 UFC), Tavares (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
Division: Middleweight
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Referee: Chris Tognoni

Kailua’s own Brad Tavares (15-4) takes on Thales Leites (27-7) this weekend on UFC 216. This will be the Hawaii native’s 15th bout in the UFC.

Mahalo for the results

Hawaii to the UFC

Tavares made it to the big leagues in 2010, coming off an undefeated streak in of 5-0 in local promotions, including X-1 World Events which still host MMA shows across the islands. The 185-pound fighter was then cast on the UFC TV Show The Ultimate Fighter Season 11, where he made it to the semi-finals, where he lost to Court McGee.

UFC 216

On October 7th Tavares will take on Thales Leites from Brazil. Leites has seven years the Hawaiian’s senior with nearly double the number of professional bouts.

Tavares trains out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nevada along several other locals who frequent the popular MMA gym. The fight will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada not too far out of the way for Tavaras.

Las Vegas Tragedy

The card comes in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting earlier this week. UFC President Dana White has donated $1 million to assist victims of the shooting. Tavares praised White for his action on Twitter and praised the Vegas community for joining together in the wake of the tragedy. Despite the sad atmosphere which has overshadowed much of the city, Tavares will rise to the occasion as planned.

Tune in Saturday, October 7th to watch Brad Tavares on prelims of UFC 216, proudly representing Hawaii as always.

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