Chris Leben Will “Go Toe-to-Toe” with Wanderlei at UFC 132 (video)

May 30, 2011
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Chris “The Crippler” Leben has “mellowed out a bit” with age, or so he says, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to bring the all the firepower he can muster on July 2 at UFC 132 in Las Vegas. That’s when Leben will step into the Octagon with a man he calls a personal hero… Wanderlei Silva. Leben knows that, against a fighter like Silva, he’s got to bring it.

“Wanderlei is a blue collar fighter, he’s not gonna run from me,” Leben told But the Crippler is also of the blue collar ilk.

An inaugural castmember of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Leben has grown up in the Octagon, surfing numerous ups and downs since he first emerged there in 2005. He is currently coming off of a disappointing first-round TKO stoppage loss to Brian Stann, who derailed Leben’s three-fight winning streak.

It doesn’t take Leben much to get motivated for a fight.

“Punch me in the face, I’m gonna try and fight back,” he said with a chuckle.

But in Silva, Leben will have plenty of extra motivation. He’s fighting an idol, and after wading in the middleweight pool for so many years, he’s fighting to get his career back on track so he can make a run at the UFC title.

(Interview courtesy of Conner Cordova)

  • Unador

    This isn’t a good match up for Leben. Leben is a mediocre fighter. It’s his toughness that gets him through fights. Giant head, and good conditioning. But that’s it. And even now that is starting to fail him, evidenced in the Stann fight. Silva is going to bring some serious aggression and power, he is not going to be semi comotose wading in with looping bombs in hopes of getting a knockout.

    Wanderlie has suffered some vicous knockouts, but I havent seen Leben exhibit the kind of knock out power necessary to put down a fully awake fighter of Silva’s caliber.
    Leben’s knockouts tend to be against people that are barely hanging on. Which is where Leben is strong. He can hang out at the edge of conscienceness longer than most fighters and he’s effective with his instinctive strikes.
    Chris Leben said “… I’ve got a button on my nose, when you hit it, my left hand hooks out and hits people in the chin….”

    I like how Leben is the go to guy to see if your good enough to stay in the UFC. I’m happy to see him make an excellent living fighting in the UFC. He’s been at it 5 yrs? 6? That’s a long time to be active in the UFC without getting a belt or your walking papers.
    But I think this is going to be another loss for him.