Vinny Magalhaes-Anthony Perosh, Thales Leites-Tom Watson Slated for UFC 163 in Rio

By Mike Whitman May 30, 2013



Light heavyweights Vinny Magalhaes and Anthony Perosh will lock horns Aug. 3 at UFC 163, as will middleweights Thales Leites and Tom Watson.

UFC officials announced the Leites-Watson booking Thursday, while Brazilian outlet Ataque Total first reported the Magalhaes-Perosh pairing. The UFC has not officially announced the light heavyweight pairing, but both fighters confirmed the fight via Twitter.

Featherweight champion Jose Aldo will headline UFC 163, putting his title on the line against former WEC lightweight ruler Anthony Pettis. The event takes place at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will also see Demian Maia square off with fellow welterweight Josh Koscheck.

Magalhaes, 28, saw a six-fight winning streak snapped one month ago, when he was outpointed by Phil Davis at UFC 159. Known for his elite Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills, the former M-1 Global champion owns eight of his 10 career wins via submission.

Another respected grappler, Perosh now looks to right his ship after suffering a seven-second knockout at the hands of Ryan Jimmo last July at UFC 149. The defeat halted a three-fight winning streak for the 41-year-old, who began his light heavyweight Octagon run with victories over Tom Blackledge, Cyrille Diabate and Nick Penner.

Leites, 31, has won six of his last seven since departing the UFC on the heels of back-to-back losses in 2009. The onetime UFC title contender last competed in March 2012, when he avenged a 2010 loss to Matt Horwich by submitting the former International Fight League champion at Amazon Forest Combat 2.

Watson, meanwhile, has won four of his last five, most recently stopping heavy-handed Bulgarian Stanislav Nedkov this past February at UFC on Fuel TV 7. The onetime British Association of Mixed Martial Arts belt holder made his Octagon debut last September, falling to Brad Tavares at UFC on Fuel TV 5 in a split decision.

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