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Tag: Chris Leben

Video: UFC 138 Pre-Fight Press Conference

Sticking with the low key feel of UFC 138, the event’s pre-fight press conference skipped the flashy fighter introductions, swapped Dana White with Marshall Zelaznik, and got right to business. Zelaznik informs us that UFC 138 is a couple hundred seats shy of selling out and has already broken the all-time revenue record for the LG Arena in Birmingham, England. Pretty crazy considering that this is a place that has hosted the likes of Queen, Iron Maiden, David Bowie, and most importantly The Spice Girls. Remember to stop by tomorrow night and check in on our liveblog of the event, and of course thank us for filling up your pockets like they were laundry bags. And have a good weekend, Potato Nation.

-Danga 

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 138 Edition

ufc 138

Before we’ve even had time to clear out the cobwebs from UFC 137, this Saturday already promises to bring us more bone crushing action with UFC 138, featuring a showdown between middleweight sluggers Chris Leben and Mark Munoz. And since we will be treated to a free card this weekend, why not turn that extra cash…into more extra cash? Check out the betting lines below, courtesy of BestFightOdds, along with our advice, which should have already netted you some extra dough this month.

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Chris Leben: The CagePotato Retrospective Interview

Chris Leben UFC interview
(“I want people to look at me and say, ‘Wow, this is where he started and look where he ended up.’” Photo props: MMA Weekly)

By Ben Goldstein

Over the last six years, we’ve watched Chris Leben evolve from The Ultimate Fighter‘s original wild-ass brawler, to a multi-faceted contender who has the tools to defeat virtually any middleweight opponent on any given night. In fact, two of Leben’s last three fights have resulted in the greatest victories of his entire career — his epic UFC 116 Fight of the Night against Yoshihiro Akiyama, and his stunning 27-second knockout of Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132.

On November 5th, Leben will headline UFC 138 in Birmingham, England, against Mark Munoz, in a meeting that could put one of them on the short-list for a title shot. We spent some time on the phone with the Crippler last week and discussed all the notable battles in his life that have led him to where he is today, facing yet another massive opportunity. Enjoy, and check out our previous Retrospective Interviews right here.

THE ORIGIN STORY

(Matt Lindland, overdressed as usual.)

CHRIS LEBEN: “I think I was in the fourth grade when I got into my first fight. I can’t remember what it was over — something on the playground. But that was my first real, non-wrestling match, hitting-each-other-in-the-face kind of fight. And all the other kids just stood around and watched. I didn’t get into fights a lot, but I definitely had some good ones, like all kids that are a little more on the wild side.

I did a little wrestling in grade school, and something called Christian Karate that I did in like third grade. Then I started boxing in eighth grade and I actually took that really seriously.

Even when I was in junior high, my plan was always to fight in the UFC. I joined Team Quest right after I turned 21. You have to remember that at 185 pounds, I was training with Matt Lindland, Evan Tanner, Chael Sonnen, Ed Herman — we were all in the same room, every day. And every day I walked into the gym, my first coach Robert Follis would say, ‘Good morning Chris, how are you doing?’ And I’d say, ‘Did you get me a fight yet? Did you get me a fight yet?’ I’d never say, ‘Good morning, how are you,’ it was always ‘Did you get me a fight yet?’ I believe it was about six months until I had my first amateur fight.”

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On This Day in MMA History in 2006: Anderson Silva Became the UFC MW Champ and Rich Franklin’s Worst Nightmare


(Anderson beginning several years and dollars worth of therapy for Rich. Photo credit: ESPN)

Five years ago today, a fighter who was relatively unknown at the time outside of hardcore fans who followed Japanese and British MMA, stepped into the UFC Octagon for the second time and emerged less than three minutes later as the promotion’s middleweight champion.

The event was UFC 64 and the fighter was Anderson Silva. His opponent was UFC poster boy Rich Franklin.

The fight represented the beginning of the “Anderson Silva era” as UFC color analyst Joe Rogan would later call it and to those who didn’t know who he was before, it represented the introduction of “The Spider” to the masses who had cut their teeth on mixed martial arts by watching The Ultimate Fighter.

Silva, a former Cage Rage and Shooto champion, utilized both the pinpoint accurate striking he displayed in his equally impressive knockout win over durable never-before-KO’ed slugger Chris Leben at UFN 5 four months later and his impeccable muay thai clinch game to control Franklin while punishing the then-champion with nose-crushing and rib-brusing knees. He made Rich look like an amateur sparring with a pro, and when the dust settled the crowd was left stunned by the dominant display by the UFC’s new 185-pound sheriff in town.

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Video: Wanderlei Silva is Out to Prove He Can Still Compete Against Cung Le


(Video courtesy of YouTube/UFC)

The UFC uploaded an interview with Wanderlei Silva today in which the former PRIDE middleweight champion discussed his upcoming UFC 139 bout with former Strikeforce middleweight champ Cung Le.

The consummate crowd favorite says that he actually took some time to decide whether or not he’d have enough time to prepare for the short notice bout as a fill in for Le’s original opponent, Vitor Belfort, who bowed out of the event due to injury.

“I was just chilling. I was at home with my son. These days I’ve been teaching classes at my gym. I got a text asking if I wanted to fight at UFC 139. I was in shock. But a good shock. I was planning on fighting again, but I didn’t think it would be so fast. I was preparing to go back in February. I wasn’t sure right away,” he reveals. “I was thinking if I needed more than eight weeks, but I was already conditioned from [my fight with Chris Leben in July]. I took a break from training, since I had no fight scheduled, but now I’m already training good and hard. I was very happy. It was a great surprise.”

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Koscheck Asked For Silva, Franklin or Leben for Return Bout, Got Hughes Instead


(…and THAT’S what the Kos has cookin’.”

When Josh Koscheck mentioned back in July that he was interested in taking at least one fight at 185, speculation ran rampant about who the American Kickboxing Academy fighter wanted to face. We reported that there were early discussions with the UFC and Chris Leben’s camp for the two The Ultimate Fighter nemeses to square off at UFC 138 in San Jose, but the fight never materialized for various reasons and now Koscheck is slated to face former UFC welterweight champ Matt Hughes at UFC 135 on September 24 as a last-minute replacement for Diego Sanchez.

According to Kos, he asked for either Leben, Rich Franklin or Wanderlei Silva for his first bout back since losing to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 124. A broken orbital bone he suffered in the opening minutes of the bout required surgery and left him sidelined for the better part of the past year. The reason for the jump back up to middleweight — the class he competed in on The Ultimate Fighter — he says was because anyone of relevance in his own weight class was already tied up.

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Quick Quote of the Day: Silva Says He Was Injured Heading Into UFC 134 Bout With Okami


(“Can’t….stop….giggling.”)

According to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, he injured his shoulder while sparring with Junior dos Santos prior to his UFC 134 bout with Yushin Okami and was put on painkillers for the injury. Silva revealed to the Brazilian magazine Veja that he was in pain the day of the bout and that he took some painkillers to ensure he could fight, but says that unlike guys like Bas Rutten and Karo Parisyan who failed to reveal their use of analgesics to their respective athletic commissions prior to bouts, he did tell the group in charge of overseeing the event that he took the unnamed drug prior to the bout.

“A month before the fight I injured my shoulder while training with Junior dos Santos and I was feeling a lot of pain in Rio. I had to take some medicine and warn the athletic commission about it. I’ve talked to my doctors. I had an MRI and then I started feeling pains in my shoulder but the doctors let me go and said it was not that serious,” Silva says. “It’s a small injury, but I guess it’s on the [rotator] cuff and bothers me. I’ll rest for a while and get healed.”

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UFC Announces UK Show in November Headlined by Leben vs. Munoz

The UFC’s UK office announced today that the original plan of not having a UK show this year has changed as the promotion is planning on bringing the Octagon back to the LG Arena in Birmingham for UFC 138. According to the Twitter post above, the show will be underwhelmingly headlined by a middleweight match-up between Mark Munoz and Chris Leben. Sorry Josh Koscheck.

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UFC 133 Cursewatch: Lil’ Nog Pulls Out of Bout With Rich Franklin

If this wasn’t the perfect chance to pull the ol’ switcheroo, I don’t know what is. (Pic: MMAFight.com)

Just as other cards have been steadily beefing up their rosters, UFC 133 has taken another major hit. The UFC announced last night that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has pulled out of his bout against Rich Franklin due to a shoulder injury.

The promotion now finds itself in the exact position it was in only days ago when an injury to Phil Davis sent them scrambling to find a suitable light heavyweight replacement for their main event bout. It was slim pickings at that time, with Machida attempting to ransom off his services for “Anderson Silva money” and Tito taking the fight after initially turning it down. They now have three weeks to sign a replacement or remove Franklin from the card.

Machida’s reasons for turning down the Evans bout—namely short notice and the need to relocate his entire training camp to the US—have only been exacerbated at this point with even fewer days on the calendar. Of course, maybe he’s willing to suck it up after Dana was vocal about his feelings on the matter. Middleweights Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen had also volunteered their services, but Sonnen now has a dance partner. Could we see “The Crippler” make the jump to 205lbs to take a swing at another legend?

 

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Possible Epic Fight Alert: Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Leben at UFC 138 in November

Josh Koscheck posted a series of cryptic message on his Twitter page today explaining that he asked the UFC to let him have just one fight at middleweight at UFC 138 in November before he returns to compete at 170, however he didn’t name who the opponent is that he asked for.

In an interview I did with Kos a couple months ago for the latest issue of Fighters Only Magazine prior to him gaining clearance from his doctors to resume training following a serious eye injury he sustained in his last bout against UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre in December, the outspoken 33-year-old expressed his desire to become a moneyweight fighter. He named two potential opponents he’s like to face if he moved up in weight, and one of them happened to be a 185′er.

“I think I still have all the tools to compete at the highest level and I believe I have the toughness necessary to be successful and to become champion one day. I want the toughest fights. I’ll fight anybody, any time, any place,” he asserted. “Anybody who wants to fight me I’ll take on. Whether it’s Bisping at 185, Tito Ortiz at 205 — bring it on. I’m a money fighter. Show me the money and I’ll fight.”

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