Is there a Chris Leben fight that isn’t exciting to most MMA fans? Probably not.
When first offered the bout, the UFC 138 fighter was heavily into the idea of fighting Mark Munoz in the headliner that takes place in the U.K. It was easy to accept the offer, according to “The Crippler,” and fans don’t have to worry about a lackluster fight between he and Munoz.
Both are heavy hitters and have the capability to knock opponents out with ease. If you ask Leben, the matchmaking was well thought out.
“When they offered up Mark and said ‘hey, main event,’ I said, ‘that’s a great idea,’ ” Leben recalled at the UFC 138 pre-fight press conference. “Why? Because we both throw bombs. You guys are going to have a main event you’re not going to have to worry about.”
It’s easy to predict that the fight is a front-runner for the Knockout of the Night award. Both Leben and his opponent are wrecking machines – hence Munoz’s nickname, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” – and have left many of their past foes out on their backs, gazing into the stars from a brutal strike.
Munoz recognizes the danger in Leben. He feels the TUF 1 contestant brings a tough competition every time out, almost instinctively.
“He comes to fight,” Munoz said of his UFC 138 opponent. “He’s a natural born fighter.”
And there’s no doubt Leben will come to win. As he said during the press conference, Leben doesn’t fight to prevent a loss; he comes to finish fights. He doesn’t want to do like he sees some UFC champions doing.
He’ll hang up the gloves if he ever catches himself operating that way.
“The champs, they seem… like they’re fighting not to lose,” Leben criticized. “For myself, I’d quit if that’s what I start doing. I fight to win. I fight to finish my opponent.”
And it doesn’t seem like Leben is anywhere close the finishing his career. He most recently took out Wanderlei Silva in the first round at UFC 132 in July, and will look to continue to leave his mark against Munoz on Saturday.
As Munoz said, “It’s bombs away.”