Truth & Rumors > MMA

Leben: Couldn't refuse UFC offer


10:33 AM ET 07.01 | Following one of the most impressive performances of his career in a win over Aaron Simpson at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, middleweight slugger Chris Leben (20-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) said he was in no rush to get back in the cage. But now in one of the shortest turnarounds in modern UFC history, Leben steps back in the cage just two weeks later to meet Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at Saturday's UFC 116 event. So why the change of heart? According to Leben, once Wanderlei Silva was forced out of the contest, the UFC simply made an offer he couldn't refuse. "My goal is always to improve and get better between every fight," Leben told ( "Your goal should be to make it to the top, otherwise you're in the wrong sport. That's exactly what I wanted to do. However, the UFC, they presented me with an offer I couldn't refuse."

Chris Leben, Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images Chris Leben, Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
July 1, 2010  11:02 AM ET

If he wins it will help his career for a bigger fight, I like Chris he is the type of fighter that can surprise you with a couple key wins. I don't see him beating Yoshi

July 1, 2010  11:33 AM ET

If you turn down fights and don't suck up to Joe Silva you won't be in the UFC for long, so I have no trouble believing he got an offer he couldn't refuse. As in, fight or go back to working at Taco Bell.

July 1, 2010  11:56 AM ET

He didn't take any punishment in the Simpson fight and he's probably close to weight, so why not get another paycheck along the way? I'm interested in seeing if Leben can hang with Yoshi on a short turn around, but all it takes is one of Leben's power punches to turn the fight.

July 1, 2010  11:58 AM ET

Wanderlei would KO both these guys......

July 1, 2010  01:04 PM ET

$$Bucks over Brains again

July 1, 2010  03:32 PM ET

Wanderlei would KO both these guys......

Wandy would rape. YE SON. Should be a good fight still.

July 2, 2010  12:37 PM ET

Japanese fighters come here full of hype after fighting in Asia and what happens? None of them prosper. He won't knock Leben out but might out point him.

July 2, 2010  04:28 PM ET

$$Bucks over Brains again

Absolutely true. Who wouldn't take the fight? Here is what reported for Leben's pay for this upcoming fight:

Show money: $43,000
Win bonus: $43,000
That's a raise from what Leben made two weeks ago, when he got $35,000 to show and $35,000 to win. (He also got a $25,000 Knockout of the Night bonus). It's not clear whether Leben was given a raise in exchange for taking the fight on short notice or if his contract already called for him to get a pay bump on his next fight, but he's doing quite well for himself: He's already made $155,000 this year (counting the $60,000 he made for beating Jay Silva in January) and now he can get another $86,000 if he beats Akiyama.

This cat can make an extra $86G if he wins. That is a no-brainer, plus if he wins, then he will be on a 3-fight win streak. It could be a win-win situation for him or a win-lose situation. Win-win means he gets all the cash and the win. Win-lose: he gets paid ($43G) but loses.


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