Chris Leben

Day Replaces Leben Against Bisping


Jason Day. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that Canadian middleweight Jason Day will step in as a replacement opponent for Chris Leben against Michael Bisping when the organization travels overseas to London, England on June 7th for UFC 85: Bedlam.

Day, who is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, was victorious in his UFC debut last month, stopping rising fellow middleweight Alan Belcher with strikes in the first round of their bout at UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II.

“I love this fight,” Day said on the UFC’s official website. “Everybody’s been asking me who would I like to fight next, and I said Bisping, but who would have thought it would have come about so quickly. He’s a great fighter, an exciting fighter, tough as nails, and everybody wants that marquee fight where you get the guy that tests you and you slug it out for two or three rounds. I think he’s a pretty good test for me.”

Bisping was victorious in his middleweight debut at UFC 83 as well, stopping American Top Team product Charles McCarthy in the first round. This fight will mark the third time that the England native has fought in his native country since joining the UFC.

“Obviously I was looking forward to the Leben fight but I guess it wasn’t to be,” said Bisping. “You have to respect Jason Day for stepping in on even shorter notice than myself. I am looking forward to really putting on a great performance in London.”

Leben was sentenced to a total of 35 days in jail yesterday by the Clackamas County Circuit Court. He is serving the stint in prison after turning himself in to Oregon authorities one week ago for violating terms of his probation stemming from a DUI arrest three years ago. Leben was forced to serve the jail time in order to be approved for a visa that would have allowed him to travel overseas to take on Bisping in his home country.

An attempt to have his probation moved to his new home of Hawaii was unsuccessful. Leben has been behind bars since April 30th while awaiting sentencing and the nine days will count as time served towards his sentence. The Team Quest product is slated to be released from prison on May 27th.

Report: Leben Behind Bars Until May 27 (Updated)


Photo courtesy of ChrisLeben.com.

Update 9:15 PM ET: Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that Leben has been removed from his scheduled matchup against Bisping next month. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva reportedly already has an unknown replacement signed and ready to go.

UFC middleweight contender Chris Leben was sentenced to a total of 35 days in jail earlier today by the Clackamas County Circuit Court according to a report from MMA Mania.

Leben, who is currently slated to take on fellow rising 185 lb. fighter Michael Bisping in London, England, on June 7th, is serving the stint in prison after turning himself in to Oregon authorities one week ago for violating terms of his probation stemming from a DUI arrest three years ago.

Leben’s manager, ICON Sport promoter T. Jay Thompson, has confirmed that his client was forced to serve the jail time in order to be approved for a visa that will allow him to travel overseas to take on Bisping in his home country.

An attempt to have his probation moved to his new home of Hawaii was unsuccessful. Leben has been behind bars since April 30th while awaiting sentencing and the nine days will count as time served towards his sentence.

The Team Quest product is slated to be released from prison on May 27th, less than two weeks before his anticipated showdown with Bisping, assuring the popular striker that he will have an extremely limited amount of time to prepare for the bout.

No word as of yet in terms of whether or not the fight may be postponed or Leben will opt to withdraw from the fight rather than going ahead with the proceedings.

Report: Leben-Bisping Likely at UFC 85


Chris Leben. Photo courtesy of ChrisLeben.com.

Chris Leben, the controversial cast member of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” will likely take on a recently victorious Michael Bisping when the UFC travels to London, England on June 7th.

The news comes from MMA Mania, which also reports that Leben has officially signed to compete at the event and that the fight against Bisping is expected to now headline the show, taking the place of a scheduled showdown between Rashad Evans and a now injured Chuck Liddell.

Leben has quickly solidified himself as a potential contender in the middleweight division once again, bouncing back from consecutive losses to record back-to-back stoppages of Terry Martin and Alessio Sakara.

Bisping was victorious in his middleweight debut this past weekend, stopping American Top Team product Charles McCarthy in the first round. If Bisping does indeed sign to take on Leben, it will mark the third time that the England native has fought in his native country since joining the UFC.

It was also reported earlier today that hard-hitting James Irvin has stepped in to replace Liddell against Evans.

UFC 82 Thoughts and Notes

Some brief thoughts and notes from last night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion…

Full audio of the post-fight press conference here courtesy of Steve Cofield. Sam Caplan gives his take here, here, and here. Michael Rome here. Brian Knapp here.

Official news and numbers

Let’s get straight down to the facts. The official attendance inside the Nationwide Arena was 16,431. The live gate is expected to be somewhere around $2.2 million.

Fight of the Night honors went to Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson, who each received $60,000. Silva also earned $60,000 for submission of the night. Chris Leben won the same amount for his stoppage of Alessio Sakara.

Josh Koscheck and Yushin Okami both suffered separate hand injuries in their fights. Both Koscheck and Andrei Arlovski completed the last fights on their respective contracts with the UFC and are now officially free agents.

Silva looks unstoppable

I said before last night that if Anderson Silva dispatched of Dan Henderson easily, then I’d go ahead and claim that he is unstoppable. He is. He’s completely cleaned out the entire middleweight division. I was long a proponent that guys using the Team Quest style of fighting were bad matchups for Silva but obviously that isn’t the case. Silva shows us an entire new dimension of his game every time out.

While a rematch against Okami (who is now pretty much the top contender unless the UFC plans on bringing someone else in or creating a new plan) is intriguing, it’s pretty much set in stone that Silva would pick him apart on the feet. I don’t necessarily agree with Dana White’s constant statement that Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport completely, but I will say that he’s getting dangerously close to achieving that honor.

Continue reading "UFC 82 Thoughts and Notes"

Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed


Anderson Silva weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Anderson Silva passed his toughest test yet as champion with flying colors, submitting former Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson and successfully defending his UFC middleweight title for the third straight time, becoming the second undisputed champ in mixed martial arts history while doing it.

Even in defeat, Henderson perhaps gave the best performance against the champion to date. After an exchange on the feet to start the fight, Henderson was able to take Silva down and control him on the mat until the end of the round.

Although Silva did a good job of keeping a tight guard and preventing Henderson from doing any significant damage, the Team Quest co-founder used a number of hammer fists and the constant disruption of Silva’s breathing pattern to take the lead on the judge’s scorecards.

Silva heeded advice to crank up the pressure at the start of the second round, waving Henderson towards him and then stunning him with a mix of kicks, knees, and punches. A dazed Henderson swung wildly while trying to keep himself from falling over and then came up short in a takedown attempt.

Silva (21-4) capitalized by pouncing on his opponent. After softening him up with punches from inside his guard, Henderson (22-7) gave up his back and was forced to tap out via a rear naked choke moments later.

“My hat goes off to Anderson Silva,” Henderson said during a post-fight interview. “He was definitely the better fighter tonight. I controlled him well and beat him up a little bit in that first round and he came back ready to get after me in the second. He dazed me a little bit on the ground and then he got me in the choke.”

“I think I should have been more aggressive,” continued Henderson. “I didn’t fully execute my gameplan.”

Continue reading "Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed"

UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results


Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson weigh-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tonight’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.

The show will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

Main Card:

Dan Henderson (184.5 lbs) vs Anderson Silva (185 lbs)
Heath Herring (248 lbs) vs Cheick Kongo (233.5 lbs)
Yushin Okami (184.5 lbs) vs Evan Tanner (185 lbs)
Chris Wilson (169.5 lbs) vs Jon Fitch (170 lbs)
Alessio Sakara (185 lbs) vs Chris Leben (185 lbs)

Preliminary Fights:

Jake O’Brien (231.5 lbs) vs Andrei Arlovski (241 lbs)
Luigi Fioravanti (170.5 lbs) vs Luke Cummo (170 lbs)
Dustin Hazelett (170 lbs) vs Josh Koscheck (169.5 lbs)
David Bielkheden (170 lbs) vs Diego Sanchez (169.5 lbs)
John Halverson (155 lbs) vs Jorge Gurgel (154.5 lbs)

Video of the weigh-ins are after the jump, courtesy of ESPN:

Continue reading "UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results"

Previewing UFC 82: Pride of a Champion

Here’s a little preview breaking down tomorrow night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.

UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.

The show, which will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

A total of ten fights round out the card.

Continue reading "Previewing UFC 82: Pride of a Champion"

Let’s Play Catch-Up

A wealth of news and events have developed over the four days that we were sidelined due to those damn server gremlins. Here’s a little recap of everything that has gone on since then. The majority of the news is displayed after the jump.

Frye-Taktarov Booked for YAMMA Pit Fighting

Longtime mixed martial arts veterans Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov will headline the main event at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show, which is slated to take place at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ on April 11th.

Frye revealed the news during his weekly appearance on TAGG Radio.

“I hope (YAMMA) made the announcement because I just signed to fight Oleg Taktarov,” Frye said.

Quote courtesy of MMA Junkie.

EliteXC Reveals Complete Card for “Street Certified”

Elite Xtreme Combat has announced the complete card for their upcoming “Street Certified” event, which will take place this Saturday night at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center. The event will be airing on Showtime.

The full card is below:

Main Card:

Tank Abbott vs. Kimbo Slice
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Antonio Silva
Kyle Noke vs. Scott Smith
Yves Edwards vs. Edson Berto
Brett Roges vs. James Thompson

Preliminary Fights:

Rafael Feijao vs. John Doyle
Jon Kirk vs. Yosmany Cabezas
Dave Herman vs. Mario Rinaldi
Eric Bradley vs. Mikey Gomez
Mike Berhard vs. Lorenzo Borgameo

Continue reading "Let’s Play Catch-Up"

Leben-Sakara Officially Added to UFC 82


Photo courtesy of ChrisLeben.com

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially announced that popular middleweight Chris Leben will return to action against light heavyweight convert Alessio Sakara, who will be fighting for the first time at 185 lbs when the UFC travels to Columbus, Ohio for the second time for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena.

The event is headlined by a middleweight title unification bout between current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and PRIDE middleweight champion Dan Henderson. Other main card bouts include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

Leben last fought in September, where he scored a dramatic third-round knockout win over upstart middleweight Terry Martin at UFC Fight Night 11.

Sakara defeated James Lee at UFC 80: Rapid Fire a couple of weeks ago, stopping him with strikes in the first round of their bout. The former professional boxer, who has had a roller coaster of a UFC career, recently joined forces with American Top Team.

The Leben-Sakara matchup will be one of the televised bouts according to the UFC’s official website, forcing a welterweight matchup between former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez and newcomer David Bielkheden to become one of five preliminary fights.

UFC Unveils Full Card for “Pride of a Champion”

The Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier today announced the complete card for it’s upcoming UFC 82: Pride of a Champion event, which will take place on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The event is headlined by a middleweight title unification bout between current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and PRIDE middleweight champion Dan Henderson. Previously announced main card bouts include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

The two other televised bouts that were officially announced this morning involved former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez challenging newcomer David Bielkheden and Jon Fitch, who remains undefeated inside the confines of the UFC going up against Team Quest’s Chris Wilson.

Luigi Fioravanti and Luke Cummo will both return to action in a welterweight bout together. Ohio natives Dustin Hazelett and Jorge Gurgel will both be in action at the event. Gurgel will face off against fellow lightweight John Halverson and Hazelett will take on powerhouse wrestler Josh Koscheck, who will be fighting in a preliminary bout after two consecutive lackluster performances.

The most high-profile preliminary bout includes an undefeated Jake O’Brien attempting to pass the biggest test of his career against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. This will mark the first time in over five years that Arlovski has not been promoted as part of the main card of an event, further confirming the notion that he has decided to not re-sign with the company.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that a rumored bout between Chris Leben and Alessio Sakara was not annnounced as being part of the card.

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