UFC 138 Fight Card: Will Chris Leben Ever Be A Real Title Threat?

Chris TernateCorrespondent IIOctober 18, 2011

Widely considered one of the most entertaining fighters to ever step foot in the Octagon, Chris Leben has most recently been thrust into competition against sport's more popular fighters, the likes of which include Brian Stann, Yoshihiro Akiyama and most recently, the legendary Wanderlei Silva.

However, while "The Crippler's" resume will undoubtedly continue to grow, it's pretty safe to say that, save for a few spectacular victories, it's unlikely Leben will ever really be taken as a legitimate title threat. 

Known for his durability, granite chin and steady resolve in the ring, the two-time Fight of the Night winner and three-time Knockout of the Night winner apparently doesn't know how to put on a fight that isn't entertaining.

That sums up Leben, though: an entertaining fighter who puts it all out there, but doesn't really seem all that interested in titles.  

Leben just likes to fight.

Much like Mike Pyle and Chris Lytle, Leben his no pushover for up-and-comers or litmus test for talent. He's a serious threat in the division, but never quite the killer talent who is in contention.  Should he defeat Mark Munoz at UFC 138 in the UFC's first ever five-round, non-title bout, he'll have not only derailed another contender, but done so in dramatic fashion given the circumstances. 

However, unless he puts Munoz away decisively and spectacularly, don't expect him to be taking Munoz's thunder. Leben has proven that, while he's tough enough to hang with the best, he may not be talented enough to beat the elite.

Losses to the upper echelon fighters like Michael Bisping, Brian Stann and even current pound-for-pound UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva have shown that.

For Leben, though, it doesn't seem to be that big of a deal, and why should it? He's already cemented himself as one of the sport's most exciting fighters, and amongst the likes of the Georges St-Pierres, Anderson Silvas and Brock Lesnars, isn't that a feat in itself?