Via his Twitter account, @cripplerufc, Leben claimed:
I just had a little ring rust. But that being said derek brunson (sic) is a boring fighter the times he hit me, i let him just to get him to swing
Bold words, eh?
"The Crippler" is no stranger to controversy, though, and his mixed martial arts career has been defined by a nausea-inducing cycle of ups and downs and highlights and lowlights.
By all accounts, his UFC 155 performance against Brunson was the lowliest of lowlights. Leben was unable to mount any sort of offense in the fight, and he was constantly pestered by Brunson's dominant wrestling and control in the clinch.
Even when the bout was contested at a favorable range for Leben in the standup department, he failed to capitalize on any openings. Brunson, in fact, looked like the better striker.
Leben definitely did not look like himself in this fight, and one has to wonder what sort of personal demons he continues to battle at this stage in his career.
Is he too worn down by his past, or was this simply a case of ring rust, as he asserts? Was Brunson just a perfectly terrible stylistic matchup for him?
Personally, I think Brunson is not getting his due. The man took the fight against Leben on eight days' notice, he made weight, he went the distance and he notched his first UFC victory. There is something to be said for that.
I find it a bit childish that Leben would brush Brunson under the bus like this, especially given the hardships Brunson had to overcome. Add in the fact that he was undoubtedly nervous about his big-time debut, and I think Brunson performed well.
Leben, however, simply doesn't see it that way, and it seems "The Crippler" is looking for a way to save face in the wake of what was arguably his worst Octagon performance to date.
Was the loss to Brunson a case of ring rust, or is Leben done?
Sound off, readers. I anxiously await your thoughts.
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