Leben: Loss to Anderson Silva really paid off

by Nick Hutchings | source: mensfitness.co.uk

Nick Hutchings: Your stand-up, brawler fighting style is one that can take its toll on a fighter. Do you ever think about changing to extend your career?

Chris Leben: I started changing my style after the Anderson Silva fight [UFNt 5 in 2006] when it became pretty obvious that I couldn't go out all guns blazing and expect to beat elite fighters. I neded to pick my shots better and have a more adaptable game. My coach Burt Richardson has really helped with this – he's got me to mix up my striking with more technical brawling and my ground game, which despite what some people think has always been pretty good. It took me a while to get a handle on these changes – I lost a couple of fights after Silva, but it's really paying off now, I feel as if I'm a more technical fighter and can respond quicker and more intelligently than before.

NH: What would you do differently if you got another shot at Anderson Silva?

CL: Take my time – that was my original game plan but I didn't stick to it and went full-on at him. Also, when I fought him it was his first fight in the UFC and I didn't really know what to expect. Now we all know what how he fights and how to be more effective against him. Chael Sonnen, who's a good friend of mine and is the owner of the best double-leg takedown in MMA, showed how you can get at him [Sonnen fought Silva at UFC 117]. I'm not as good a takedown artist as him but my striking game is better so I'd mix the two, as well as generally being more patient.

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Recent Comments »

brotha lynch hung site profile image  

12/28/10 10:14 PM by brotha lynch hung

Hasnt he had multiple DUI arrests since his loss to anderson?

Slapsymaxi site profile image  

12/28/10 9:57 PM by Slapsymaxi

Simpson was in the 2nd. Simpson tossed Leben around. Leben kept coming, which Simpson wasn't ready for, and he got caught.Akiyama threw everything he could at Leben, Leben kept coming and it burned Akiyama out, and he caught him.That's pure Leben.Max

Crunchy Mojo site profile image  

12/27/10 8:21 PM by Crunchy Mojo

I like Leben. He's a class act.

bhealthy site profile image  

12/27/10 12:39 PM by bhealthy

Anderson rematch would be intense, strategic,and action packed. characterised by that 'emotional content, not anger' that bruce lee was lookin for

whoabro site profile image  

12/27/10 12:23 PM by whoabro

I was a huge JMMA nuthugger in 03-05, and I knew plenty about Anderson- I knew that he had been subbed by Takase, couldn't put away Ryo Chonan or Lee Murray (two quite mediocre fighters), and had no reason to believe he would become the murderous wrecking machine that he is now. Of course I predicted him to beat Leben, but not like THAT.

bhealthy site profile image  

12/27/10 12:23 PM by bhealthy

excluding alcohol, Leben is the biggest 'drug- free' threat to silva currently playing ufc-brand mma events. he is consantly improving in the ways that matter most, in the areas he needs it most. and is waaaaaay smarter than he looks

whoabro site profile image  

12/27/10 12:19 PM by whoabro


Nexuscrawlers site profile image  

12/27/10 12:06 PM by Nexuscrawlers

 He stopped simpson in the first and subbed akiyama in the third..........

bhealthy site profile image  

12/27/10 11:47 AM by bhealthy

leben is waaaaay smarter than he looks.

1crazySOB site profile image  

12/27/10 11:46 AM by 1crazySOB

Leben is a very tough fighter and his fights are always exciting. I don't think he will ever hold the belt but he is an excellent gatekeeper. He has a place in the UFC for sure. The Simpson and Akiyama wins were awesome and VERY close together. I would love to see any of you keyboard warriors talking shit about him beat those dudes within two weeks of each other!