I consider the Chris Leben vs Josh Koscheck rivalry arguably the best rivalry to take place
on TUF between two of the shows contestants since it began. It seemed like from almost day 1 there was a dislike between the fraggle-haired All American wrestler/D1 Champ and the experienced red haired psycho. They were pitted against one another after a confrontation at the house (Koscheck and Southworth pouring water on Leben with a hose) which involved Leben punching out a window and taking off one of his knuckles in the process. This fight was anti-climactic to say the least, as it consisted of Koscheck taking Leben down and holding him there for the 2 rounds to earn a Decision victory.
At the beginning of the year this fight made no sense at all, Leben was on a 2 fight losing streak and was at risk of being cut from the UFC (Michael Bisping and Jake Rosholt) while Koscheck was on his way to recovering from his KO loss to Paulo Thiago by racking up a win over Frank Trigg and Anthony Johnson. However with our current situation I feel it would be a great fight at this point in both of these fighter's careers(win or loss against Brian Stann). I do realize Koscheck may not want to fight a heavy-handed brawler in his first fight back from surgery on his orbital bone but I am hoping he will feel confident enough in his recovery to do so. Realistically neither fighter are that close to a title shot in their divisions. Koscheck just lost a very one-sided fight to the WW champ GSP on December 11 and Leben while on a 3 fight win streak(including what many considered a big upset over Yoshihiro Akiyama), is behind a list of 3-4 fighters (Vitor Belfort, Yushin Okami and Chael Sonnen) when it comes to earning a shot at the MW title. Koscheck has been calling out Tito Ortiz so he doesn't seem to have a problem with fighting at either a catch weight or jumping back up to MW (the weight they fought at on TUF) and I am sure Leben would love to avenge that loss. This fight could even be used as a Main Event on a non-PPV event as long as the card is packed with a few other strong and exciting fights. It is known that alot of UFC/MMA fans were generated from watching the first season of TUF, so I am confident this fight would be a big seller due to the past rivalry.
I feel that the fight would be fairly competitive, Koscheck has improved his stand-up alot and has maintained his wrestling abilities while Leben has maintained his heavy-handed, granite chin, zombie mode kind of style but has also shown off a lot of other abilities (such as the triangle on Sexyama). I feel whether this is a match-up of 2 strikers or of a wreslter and a sprawl and brawl fighter it will result in a n exciting fight. Personally I can't really pick a winner and feel this would be a very close fight.
Heres a link to refresh your memory of the rivalry and to see their fight again
http://www.ultimatefighter.com/fighter/chris-leben (Video 2 "Cold Shower")
http://www.ultimatefighter.com/fight-videos/tuf-1-josh-koscheck-chris-leben (I am really impressed by the lay out and accessibility of the Ultimate Fighter website.)
Note: This is my first fanpost so it will be rusty and I would appreciate any criticism you have or tips to improve.
How would the fight go?
Chris Leben (T)KO (61 votes)
Chris Leben Submission (8 votes)
Chris Leben Decision (8 votes)
Josh Koscheck (T)KO (12 votes)
Josh Koscheck Submission (12 votes)
Josh Koscheck Decision (122 votes)
Draw (2 votes)
225 total votes