UFC middleweight Chris “The Crippler” Leben will look to cap off a stellar year this weekend when he takes on Brian Stann on the main card of UFC 125: Resolution. Some have made the claim that Stann represents a step down in competition for Leben, who defeated Jay Silva, Aaron Simpson and Yoshihiro Akiyama this year, but “The Crippler” is not taking the “All American” lightly.
Leben spoke with MMAFix after the UFC 125 open workouts yesterday and he discussed not taking Stann lightly as well as what he has planned for the coming year.
“Brian Stann’s dangerous, I know that. Brian Stann stands in the way of me and my goals, I know that,” Leben said. “The last thing I’m gonna do is take him lightly. As soon you take someone lightly that’s when you get yourself in a lot of trouble.”
Leben showed a fighter’s heart earlier this year when he stepped in for an injured Wanderlei Silva to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama on two week’s notice. He told MMAFix that he believes this puts him in line for a shot at the PRIDE FC legend when “The Axe Murderer” returns from his injury layoff.
“I want Wanderlei Silva,” Leben said. “The fact is, he was slated to fight Akiyama. I stepped in in two weeks, nobody’s ever done that. I beat Akiyama, his opponent. That earns me the shot right there.”
Also in Leben’s hopeful future plans is a shot at the middleweight title, which he believes he has a real shot at winning.
“This year has been a great year. More of the same. I’ve got a limited window in this sport. I want the title, I’m not afraid to say it,” he said. “I want to win. I want to be the UFC 185, middleweight champion.”
Leben and Stann will square off this Saturday night on the main card of UFC 125: Resolution, which will be going down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.