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LAS VEGAS – Ed Herman had very few answers for Thales Leites‘ ground game, whether the fans liked it or not.

Leites used a strong jiu-jitsu attack on the ground and Herman never really got going en route to a a unanimous decision for the Brazilian.

The middleweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 167 event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following additional prelims on MMAjunkie and ahead of the main card on pay-per-view.

Herman kicked early, but Leites tagged him seconds later. Herman fell to his back, but with Leites moving in, Herman landed an upkick. He kept after the upkicks, as Leites wanted to work ground-and-pound. Leites stayed heavy on the ground for a bit before Herman scrambled back to his feet. But Leites again took him right back to the ground. He jumped to mount, then quickly took Herman’s back and went after a rear-naked choke with his back against the cage. Herman tried to roll out, but the Brazilian stayed after it. Herman survived the round, but it was a dominant one for Leites.

Herman tried to get his striking going in the second, and he did. But he ate a few stiff jabs from Leites in the process. The Brazilian again wanted the fight on the canvas, but Herman staved off the takedown attempt along the fence for a while. But after working toward it, Leites dragged Herman back down and transitioned nicely to his back.

thales-leites-ufc-167-highlightsHerman’s corner admonished him before the third round to get after Leites on the feet, believing the Brazilian was ready to lay-and-pray his way to a win. Herman tried to oblige 30 seconds in, but there wasn’t enough to put Leites in trouble and the frame was much of the same as the first two – with Leites threatening with submissions, and Herman playing just enough defense to survive the fight.

“I’m really happy, but I didn’t submit him when I had control, so I’m disappointed in that part of my performance,” Leites said. “He’s very tough, and he knew just how to defend against each submission when I tried to pass his guard and improve position. I want to fix some mistakes with my coaches and come back better.”

Leites (22-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) won for the fifth straight time and second straight since returning to the UFC in August. Herman (21-10 MMA, 8-6 UFC) heads back to the loss column following a decision win over Trevor Smith in July.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 167 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 167, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Las Vegas.

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