As noted earlier, the UFC announced today that a middleweight bout between Aaron Simpson (7-0) and Chris Leben (19-6) will take place on the live finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs Team Ortiz on Saturday, June 19.
Currently sporting a 7-0 record, with all but one of his victories coming via knockout, Aaron Simpson is a former All-American wrestler who is developing into a lethal striker. He left a lasting impression on the minds of fight fans with his 18-second knockout of David Avellan at WEC 36 in November 2008. After entering the UFC, he continued to display his devastating punching power, defeating Tim McKenzie and Ed Herman via TKO early in successive bouts, before running his UFC win streak to three with a decision victory over Tom Lawlor this past January.
Simpson’s opponent is the enigmatic Chris “The Crippler” Leben (19-6), who was one of the breakout stars from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Leben’s UFC career began with seven straight wins over such notables as Jorge Rivera, Patrick Cote, and Luigi Fioravanti. Never one to back down from a challenge, Leben had his streak snapped in April 2006 by current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Since then, he has continued to take on all comers, and following a win over Jay Silva earlier this year, he hopes that a victory over the undefeated Sampson will further him on the path for a shot at the UFC middleweight title.
Other bouts, including the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs Team Ortiz, will be announced at a later date. The event will emanate from The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, June 19 at 9:00 PM ET. The main card will be broadcast live on Spike TV.