While speculation has placed UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (23-4 MMA, 8-0 UFC) in a number of matchups in both the middleweight and light-heavyweight division, it appears likely that "The Spider" will be defending his title at an as-yet-unannounced date in April.
Sources close to the bout have indicated to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) that Silva and fellow Brazilian Thales Leites (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) have verbally agreed to the contest. Bout agreements have yet to be signed.
While an official date and venue for the event have yet to be announced, the sources indicated that the UFC is eyeing a return to Montreal for the card.
Rumors had been widely circulating that Silva was a candidate for a main event bout at UFC 95 in London, or that the middleweight champion would be looking to have another go at a light-heavyweight contest. Both of those rumors now appear untrue.
Silva is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak that includes all eight of his trips to the octagon. The 33-year-old was last seen in a widely criticized third-round TKO win over Patrick Cote at UFC 90 in October.
Leites will bring a five-fight win streak of his own to the title fight.
The 27-year-old lost a unanimous decision to Martin Kampmann in 2006 UFC debut. The loss was just the first of Leites' career, and the submission ace has since reeled off victories over Drew McFedries, Nate Marquardt, Ryan Jensen, Floyd Sword and Pete Sell.
The Nova Uniao fighter also owns submission wins over Jose Landi-Jons, Jason Guida and Gustavo Machado prior to his stint with the UFC.
If the currently targeted location of Montreal holds true, it will mark just the UFC's second trip to Canada.
The organization first visited Montreal in April 2008 for "UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre 2." That event sold-out the 21,000-plus seat Bell Centre in record time, prompting UFC President Dana White to promise that the UFC will "definitely" return to Canada for a second event.