Leben wants to be back in the mix

Sunday, September 16, 2012

“I want to get back in the mix, so I’ve got to go out and handle Vermola, and then hopefully (UFC matchmaker) Joe (Silva) will put me up against a little bigger name,” he said.

Or one he can pronounce correctly. Leben couldn’t, and when he got the call to come back hadn’t much heard of the Czecholslovakian middleweight, who has alternated between wins and losses in his five fights with the UFC. But he studied a little bit of tape, and found the situation favorable.

“Watching the tape, I don’t see any spots that I’m extremely worried about. I can fight him wherever he goes,” Leben said. “I think as far as game plan goes, it’s just weathering that storm the first minute out of the gate.”

“I’ve been trying to make a different Chris Leben for years and years,” Leben said. “I’ve always been saying I’m going to take this fight to the ground, I’m going to show my ground game and utilize my other skills, and then it just doesn’t seem to happen.

“Once I get punched in the face, [I’m] going to revert right back to what works.”

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