UFC 216: Brad Tavares Bloodies Up Former Title Challenger Thales Leites In Show Opener

In tonight’s UFC 216 show opener a pair of veterans took center stage in Thale Leites vs. Brad Tavares.

In the opening round, Tavares used his speed and footwork to keep at range. Neither fighter having any real major success, Tavares did land the more significant shots in a relatively inactive first round. Notably, Tavares landed a couple nasty leg kicks.

In the second round it was much of the same. The fight taking place on the feet, with Tavares landing his jab pretty much at will. Leites looking worse for the wear with his now busted up and bleeding, but little action from either man. Leites briefly tried bringing the fight to the mat, but was unable to do so. Again, the Tavaes leg kicks starting to add up. The bell sounded with just more slow paced posturing

In the third round Tavares was able to continue to outpoint Leites on the feet with footwork and an accurate jab. Leites tried being the aggressor, but Tavares is always one step ahead. Finally Tavares able to drop Leites after more leg kicks, by far the most significant moment in the fight. Tavares repeatedly able to drop Leites with those kicks. With 10 seconds left he does it again, this time engaging in some lunging ground and pound to end the fight.

Judges give the fight to Brad Tavares.

RESULT: Brad Tavares def. Thales Leite via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)