UFC 162: Can Leben Afford A Loss?

UFC 162: Can Leben Afford A Loss?

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Chris Leben has been in the UFC a long time.

In the 8 years that he’s been with the promotion (class of TUF 2005) the 32 year old fighter has  amassed a record of 12 & 8, with most of his wins (9) coming by way of stoppage. Of his 8 losses only 3 have been by decision. In total out of his 20 UFC fights 14 of them have seen “The Crippler” either be the hammer or the nail.

His warrior spirit has made him a fan favorite and his willingness to take a short notice fight and help out the promotion, as he did in 2010 against Yoshihiro Akiyama and in what turned out to be an awesome fight and submission victory for Leben, did not go un-noticed by UFC president Dana White. Post the fight White had nothing but glowing statements about Chris, the win, his performance, turnaround time (14 days) and what he had done / was doing for the UFC. Those were heady days for Leben, to say the least.

However and since that night, Leben seems to have lost his steam. Going 1 & 3 over his last four fights and currently sustaining a 2 fight losing streak, The Crippler needs to rack up a win in his upcoming bout on July 6th (UFC 162) in Las Vegas.

Facing him in the cage that night will be Andrew “Highlight” Craig. Craig is a 27 year old BJJ fighter with stand-up and coming off of a loss. He has a total of 9 professional fights (2&1 in the UFC) and is the considerably less experienced fighter. Leben with his 31 professional bouts is the far more advantage fighter in the experience department.

On the line for Chris in this fight could well be his UFC banishment. In an era that finds Dana White looking to trim the rosters and in a business that is very much predicated on the mantra of “what-have-you-done-lately”, a third loss in a row could easily spell his demise with the promotion.

For me, I hope he wins. He’s a banger and a guy who fights with all of his heart and always has. His granite chin, heavy left-hand and walk-forward-and-through-anything-he-runs-into-attitude, is hard not to love. He has worked his way through and out of a number of personal issues and has survived in the UFC for nearly a decade, now. He’s one of those guys that never quits or lies down, in or out of the ring. For all of that, I am picking Chris to win his fight with Andrew Craig. I believe his experience and chin will prove the better of whatever Highlight has to offer.  

So, what do you think? Will The Crippler win on July 6th and put wind back into his UFC sails or do you think he will lose to Highlight and be shown the exit sign by Dana?

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  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/enjoylife321 enjoylife321

    One thing is for sure, Chris can't rely on personal demons, poor training or any other excuses. Its make or break for Chris now. I personally think we have seen the best of Leben and I think his name carries him further at this time of his career than his skills. he is an exciting fighter but his cardio has been suspect of late. I see Leben continuing on the win/lose win/lose pathway. In the division he is really just a card filler rather than a legitimate contender to the title.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/watermelonfresh watermelon fresh

    Not a fan of Leben – He's always been a mid level fighter at best. He brings it, no doubt but VERY limited on skill and basically just a brawler. I think he should be cut if for nothing else to make room for new prospects.

    Hope he can at some point find peace with himself though.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Entity Entity

      thanks, now I dont have to type 8))

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Knarcisistik Knarcisistik

    Chris is one of those guys you can't help but be excited to watch. He's never been the greatest athlete, the most technical, but if you wanna talk sheer willpower, the guy is just on another level. Anyone who has been through the type of things he has is going to have their demons. I personally hope he can defeat them and give us one of those fight of the night performances that so many of his fights are worthy of.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/akieyugames akieyugames

    Been a Leben fan since the show, he just tries to finish or gets finished, would love to see him fight Koscheck though

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/highkick12 highkick12

    Lebon is exciting, and exciting fighters, like Pat Barry should get a by when they lose as long as they keep fans cheering. Or would you want a card full of guys like SHields and FItch that have 10,000 people booing?

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/HunterB HunterB

      get a by? you mean 3 bys and bys from PED and narcotic uses??? STFU seriously