Chris Leben’s stunning third round triangle choke submission of Yoshihiro Akiyama came just two weeks after his second round TKO over Aaron Simpson, in what can only be described as one of the most miraculous two-fight stints in UFC history.
The former “Ultimate Fighter” has admittedly battled demons throughout his personal and professional career, but now appears to be back on top of his game, training the right way and coming out to win.
After defeating Akiyama on Saturday night, Leben called for a fight with the Japanese fighter’s original opponent, Wanderlei Silva, who dropped out of the bout with a rib injury coupled with a knee injury.
“I want Wanderlei,” Leben yelled after this win. “Wanderlei was supposed to have this fight. I want him next. I’ll take you out too Wanderlei.”
In what would be guaranteed dynamite, Leben vs. Silva would seem like a lock, but UFC president Dana White had to let the air out of the balloon at the post-fight press conference saying that Silva will be out for several months.
“We talked about that, the problem is Wanderlei’s having knee surgery. He’s going to be out for a while,” said White.
Leben will undoubtedly take some much needed time off now after two fights in two weeks, but White hopes to keep the former Team Quest fighter busy, because that’s the best way to guarantee his performance.
“The thing that I like, now Leben will get to take some time off. He’ll rest, relax, but get him right back in there,” White commented. “I think it’s important to keep him active, keep him busy. He looks great and like he said, I completely agree with him. He’s matured as a fighter, and as a person. I’m happy for him.”
Leben will travel home to Hawaii after the fight, but big things are ahead for the original bad boy of “The Ultimate Fighter.”