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.
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