Former Pride middleweight champion and all-round legend Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 1 NC, 3-5 UFC) returns after 16 months out with a knee injury to battle with The Crippler, Chris Leben (25-7, 11-6 UFC), who is looking to turn it around after getting stopped for the first time in his career by Brian Stann. This middleweight UFC 132 fight is the co-main event on the pay-per-view broadcast that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Silva: 34 years old | 5'11" | 74" reach
Leben: 30 years old | 5'11" | 70.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Wanderlei Silva got here by hurting people. The former Pride middleweight champion won once went undefeated for 16 straight fights in Pride finally came to the UFC for an epic showdown with Chuck Liddell at UFC 79, where he dropped a decision. He quickly knocked out Keith Jardine in his next outing, but losses to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rich Franklin (at 195 pounds) forced The Axe Murderer to drop to middleweight. He won his first outing at 185 pounds by decision over Michael Bisping, but was forced to undergo knee surgery that put him on shelf for over a year. Cage rust could definitely be a factor for Silva here.
Chris Leben was the original Ultimate Fighter bad boy that has stuck around in the UFC for over six years now. He win five straight to open his UFC career, but ran into Anderson Silva in The Spider's UFC debut and was crushed. He's been consistently inconsistent since then, and his legal issues and testing positive for steroids haven't helped much. He recently resurrected his career by defeating Aaron Simpson and coming back on just 2 weeks notice to shock Yoshihiro Akiyama with a triangle choke in one of the best fights of 2010. His last bout was a downer though, as he got sick before the fight and ended up getting knocked out for the first time by Brian Stann at UFC 125. This is a huge fight for Leben in many ways.
Why should you care?
This has the potential to be one of the best fights of the year, that's why. Both have knockout power and pretty good chins, and they both are in a position where they have a lot to prove.