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6/23/10 11:49:19AM
And it's...Chris Leben? Seems he wants to get on the good side of the Zuffa brass, at least based on his latest comments posted on BJ Penn's website. "The UFC called me and they said Wanderlei was hurt and they want me to fight Akiyama ... At first I said no because I woke up in the morning, my phone was ringing and I was sore and it doesn’t make sense to take a fight when you’re not prepared and training for it. But then as I thought about it, you know, I’m a fighter, this is what I do. Why would I not take a great opportunity? It would be stupid of me. Not to mention that but I want to be a company man with the UFC, I want them to be happy with me. I don’t know a ton about Akiyama. My coach knows a bunch, but we haven’t even had a chance to talk much about our game plan. I saw him fight Alan Belcher and to be honest with you, I thought he lost that fight. He’s a good Judo guy, he’s got great Judo, fast kicks, maybe not the most power in the world. He’s a little bit shorter than me but he’s a good strong guy. I think that utilizing my skills, keeping it on the feet and clubbing him in the head with my left shouldn’t be too much of a problem."

6/23/10 12:07:21PM
i really hated leben on TUF and shortly thereafter although seeing him show some humanity when kos and southworth were harassing him did warm me up to him a bit then. the more i see him fight the more i like him because hes just an entertaining guy, and the more i hear him talk i think he seems to be a decent dude too. the rosholt fight was a complete disappointment, and hes had some ups and downs other than that like losing to kalib starnes, but fights like the one he had against terry martin that really show his heart really endear him to people, myself included.

all that said, sexyama by brutal cocksure catwalk strut.
6/23/10 12:14:23PM
Leben, like Chuck and others was better when he was using a well rounded game imo. If he could mix a conservative strategy, with his brawling with the iron left and iron chin-only at the right moments, not all fight long, Leben could be a title contender imo. The brawling style gets picked apart by top guys like Silva, even Bisping. He has good wrestling. he should ware guys down, than ko them when they are slower imo.
6/23/10 12:14:48PM
I was a HUGE Leben fan during season one of TUF but over the years I haven't been so hot on the guy. What with the positive drug test after the Bisping fight and all, but the truth is, the guy is the type of fighter UFC wants. He takes fights on short notice, the guy shys away from NO ONE and he seems to be making the changes to his lifestyle that will see him get better and better. Props to Leben for taking this fight and this is actually a good way to get him back in the top ten. If he can beat Akiyama Id love to see a Belcher vs Leben or Leben vs Marquardt fight! WAR Leben!
6/23/10 1:11:23PM
What a bowss takin the fight on short notice, I got leben 3rd ko
6/23/10 3:10:52PM
This can only be good for Leben, AMAZING if he wins. I loved the guy after his interview.
6/23/10 6:28:02PM
Never been a leban fan I do like the guy
Glad he stepped up to fight akiyama
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