Leites-Lister Carries MFC 23

By Brian Knapp Dec 1, 2009
One-time UFC middleweight championship contender Thales Leites will collide with Dean Lister in a showdown between two high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts at Maximum Fighting Championships 23 “Unstoppable” on Friday at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The middleweight bout will headline the Canadian promotion’s year-end show, which features five UFC veterans. HDNet will carry the event live at 10 p.m. ET.

Leites, cut loose by the UFC following his controversial split decision loss to American Top Team’s Alessio Sakara in August, has dropped back-to-back bouts for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old Nova Uniao standout holds notable victories against former middleweight King of Pancrase Nate Marquardt, Drew McFedries, Jose Landi-Jons and recent UFC signee Lucio Linhares. Leites has secured nine of his 14 career wins by submission and was almost universally received as one of the world’s top 10 middleweights less than a year ago.

Lister, the 2003 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling absolute division world champion, last appeared at UFC 92 in December 2008, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Japanese stalwart Yushin Okami. The 33-year-old California has never been finished in 17 professional MMA bouts and has delivered nine of his 11 career victories by submission. Wins over UFC veterans Jeremy Horn, Jordan Radev and James Lee anchor his resume.

In the co-main event, UFC castoff Jason MacDonald will meet “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 cast member Solomon Hutcherson. Released by the UFC following a first-round technical knockout loss to Nate Quarry at UFC 97, the 34-year-old MacDonald was out-pointed by Travis Lutter at MFC 22 in October. Hutcherson, meanwhile, has posted five wins in his past six outings.

MFC 23: Unstoppable
Friday, Dec. 4
River Cree Resort and Casino
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Thales Leites vs. Dean Lister
Jason MacDonald vs. Solomon Hutcherson
Bryan Baker vs. Art Santore
Ryan Jimmo vs. Emanuel Newton
Marvin Eastman vs. Dwayne Lewis
Joe Christopher vs. Jesse Juarez
Ryan Fortin vs. Nick Penner
Ryan Machan vs. Kajan Johnson
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