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Chris Leben is one of those fighters with a very loyal fanbase, and rightly so. He has a huge personality, puts on amazing fights and always goes for the finish.
The problem with Leben's fans is that every time he gets a big win, they start clamoring for a titleshot even though he holds an equal number of big losses, including one to current Middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.
Leben had three big fights in 2011, and he came up short in two of them, which is in stark contrast to going 3-0 in 2010 against arguably lesser competition.
After Leben finished off 2010 by submitting Yoshihiro Akiyama, his fans clamored for a title eliminator fight as if his back-to-back losses to Michael Bisping and Jake Roshalt were already ancient history.
Then, he started off 2011 with a big fight against Brian Stann, where he suffered a first-round TKO loss. Leben was able to rebound with a first-round KO win himself against Wanderlei Silva.
After his KO win, talk about him being a contender began to surface again, and his loss to Brian Stann was already a distant memory. So, Leben fans got one step closer to their wish when he squared off against a contender like Mark Munoz at UFC 138.
Needless to say, things didn't go well for "The Crippler," and he was once again unable to deliver against some of the division's best.
Chris Leben will likely continue to have a very successful career in the UFC and continue to put on exciting performances against tough opponents, but it is unlikely he'll ever get that title shot, and his performance in 2011 proves it.