Chris Leben badly needed a win to continue his up-and-down run in the UFC. Unfortunately for him, he didn't get it. Andrew Craig was able to control Leben in the clinch and land enough timely shots to take a split decision win over The Crippler. Leben was pushing the pace and looking for takedowns, but Craig was able to stay upright. Craig hurt Leben badly in the third but couldn't get the finish. The judges had it 29-28, 28-29, and 30-27.
Surprisingly, Leben looked to clinch up early and worked for a takedown. Craig landed some nice knees inside while Leben went to the body. They scrapped a bit in the middle, with Leben landing the left and Craig scoring with a body kick and punch. Leben was really clinching a lot against the guy with a big reach advantage over him. Craig was backing off and kicking the legs. Leben looked to be slowing down a bit already.
The second looked very similar to the first. Leben was pushing it against the cage but coming up short on a takedown. Craig would land knees on the exit, and he backed away from Leben's power and caught him coming in with elbows and short punches. Craig was taking big breaths and might have been slowing down a bit.
The third started off with a bang. Craig engaged in a brawl with Leben and dropped him with a huge shot. Craig was all over him on the ground looking to finish, but Leben survived and got up. Craig scored with a big uppercut and Leben clinched up again. Craig just pushed Leben to the floor and took top position. Not much happened and Leben got up with two minutes to go. Craig got two more takedowns to ice it though.
Craig improved to 3-1 in the UFC with the win, while Leben dropped his third in a row and fourth out his last five overall.