Chris Leben has been with the UFC since the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Leben has had his share of personal and professional ups and downs during his tenure during that run. Right now he’s on the downside, losing two straight. Entering UFC 162 he will look to get his career back on the upswing.
Leben last fought at UFC 155, losing via unanimous decision to Derek Brunson. The fight was not one of Leben’s better performances. He looked out of sorts, rusty and frustrated. Some of that may have been due to the fact that it was his first fight after serving a year-long drug related suspension.
UFC president Dana White spoke about Leben’s performance in that loss, “He looked like a guy that hadn't fought in a long time.” As for Saturday, White is hopeful that he will see the Chris Leben of old inside the Octagon, “Leben is a f****** warhorse. This guy comes in and he's either going to kill or be killed. He's either going to knock you out or get knocked out, that's just his style.”
When the subject of Leben’s future with the promotion was brought up, we caught a glimpse of the side of White that isn’t displayed often in public, “Let's see what happens on Saturday. He's a kid that, no matter what he's doing, I want to keep him motivated, and make it so that every day when he gets out of bed he's a part of society, and has to have something to achieve or some goals. I always want that there for him. I don't even want to talk about cutting Chris Leben.”
A Leben win over Andrew Craig will grant White his wish. A loss on Saturday, and Leben will have three consecutive defeats, and warhorse or not, the UFC will have a decision to make about his status with the promotion.”
*All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report.