Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben added to UFC 132

According to HeavyMMA.com, a middleweight clash between heavy-handed brawlers Chris Leben and Wanderlei Silva has come to fruition, as the two will meet at UFC 132 this July.

A middleweight bout between Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben is official for UFC 132 in Las Vegas, Nevada for the promotion’s annual Fourth of July weekend event.

UFC officials announced the bout on Monday.

Leben, who experienced a career resurgence with dominant victory over Jay Silva, Aaron Simpson, and Yoshihiro Akiyama in 2010, was disappointed against Brian Stann, losing via technical knockout at UFC 125 last January. He is an even 3-3 over his past three years of competition in the UFC.

Silva, meanwhile, jumped back on the right track in his last contest with a unanimous decision victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 110. The former PRIDE superstar has been out of action since the early 2010 victory, which was his debut at the 185 lb. mark.

Read the full article.

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UFC 125 Picks & Predictions

UFC 125 takes place on Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The event features five very intriguing and exciting fights, headlined by a battle for the UFC Lightweight Championship. Here are my thoughts on who will win on the main card bouts.

UFC Lightweight Championship – Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard: I look for the champion to retain his belt and avenge a prior loss to Maynard in 2008. Since that time I feel like Edgar has improved greatly as a fighter while Maynard is simply a slightly better version of himself. Maynard will get some takedowns on the champ, but I expect Edgar to bounce back up and use his boxing to tire the challenger before scoring some takedowns in the later rounds to earn a decision victory.

UFC Middleweight Bout – Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann: While this fight doesn’t deserve co-main event status, it still should be exciting. Leben is riding a wave of momentum that will not be stopped on Saturday as his punching power should carry him to a third round TKO of Stann, who will put up a game effort.

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout – Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva: This may be Vera’s final UFC fight as I expect Silva to pressure him and not let him set up his kicks. Silva will do a good job of closing the distance and overwhelming Vera with his power and grappling ability. I like Silva to win by unanimous decision.

UFC Welterweight Bout – Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Kim is a very under-rated fighter as he is kind of like the Yushin Okami of this weight class as is very strong and bigger than anyone else in the weight class. I like Kim to use that size to get Diaz to the ground and keep him from using his boxing. It probably won’t be the most exciting fight, but it will be another decision win for Kim.

UFC Lightweight Bout – Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida: I like Guida and the energy he brings to a fight, but his short arms tend to put him in bad spots against strikers. I think Guida will get careless early in the fight and get caught with a big punch by Guida while will lead to a TKO finish in the opening round.

The 10 Best Fights in WEC History

Mitch Ciccarelli of HeavyMMA.com breaks down the top 10 best fights in WEC history.

10. Chris Leben vs. Mike Swick: WEC 9 (1/16/2004)
One year prior to becoming household names on the original cast of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Chris Leben and Mike Swick went to war in this WEC classic. At the time, the WEC wasn’t owned by Zuffa. The sport itself was struggling for mainstream acceptance.
After an action-packed first round, these two strikers stood in the pocket and traded punches until Leben dropped Swick with a thunderous left hand to become the first WEC middleweight champion. Leben would then vacate the belt to take part in the very first TUF and the rest is history.

9. Mike Brown vs. Urijah Faber: WEC 36 (11/5/2008)
“The California Kid” Urijah Faber was (and still is) the face of the WEC. When Zuffa purchased the organization in 2006, Faber was their most marketable asset and also a dominant champion at 145 lbs.
With five consecutive title defenses under his belt, Faber was considered as close to untouchable as one could get. But his invincible mystique would come to an end at the hands of Mike Brown, who not only defeated Faber, but knocked him out in the very first round to claim the featherweight championship.

Check out the rest of the top 10.

The Top 5 Best Scenes from The Ultimate Fighter

NEW YORK - MARCH 24: Dana White, president of the UFC, speaks at a press conference for UFC 111 at Radio City Music Hall on March 24, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

From HeavyMMA.com:

With Season 12 set to debut tonight, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite moments from the first 11 seasons of the show that has brought mixed martial arts into the living rooms of millions.

Before you start predicting which moment will make the top of the charts, let me assure you that it is not Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar’s seminal fight from the finale of Season 1. Nothing against those two or the importance of that fight, because it was and still is a massive moment in the history of the sport, but every list ever made about The Ultimate Fighter features that bout and there is nothing more I can say that hasn’t already been said.

Instead, let’s look back at some of the more candid and comical moments that have made The Ultimate Fighter a must-see spectacle for MMA fans and reality TV enthusiasts alike.

Read the full article here.

MMA 2010 Half-Year Awards

PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 29:  UFC fighter Chris Leben (L) battles UFC fighter Jake Rosholt (R) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 102:  Couture vs. Nogueira at the Rose Garden Arena on August 29, 2009 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Who has been the best fighter over the past half year in MMA? What about the best fight or the biggest upset?

Heavy.com compiled its half-year awards for 2010 in MMA, handing out honors to the best fighter, the best knockout, the best submission and much more.

Chris Leben was the recipient of best fighter.

This is one tough category to pick. Most contending fighters have only one fight for us to judge them by, meaning you’re looking at a virtual crapshoot when it comes to picking between them.

Because of that, I went with a guy who not only has three fights, but two of them came within two weeks of each other. Leben’s victory over Aaron Simpson was surprising. He went into the fight as a significant underdog who should’ve been overwhelmed by Simpson’s wrestling. Instead, Leben used a surprisingly well-rounded skill set to stop Simpson’s takedown and batter him into a second-round TKO.

Two weeks later, he went into the cage against Yoshihiro Akiyama on short notice and, in one of the most thrilling fights of the year, submitted Akiyama in dramatic fashion to score the biggest win of his career. On top of the two biggest wins of his career, he’s got a win over Jay Silva in January, giving him three solid victories in a year where many fighters only have one.

To check out all of their first-half awards, click here.

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