The 185-pound clash between Michael Bisping (16-1) and Chris Leben (18-4) is back on and will take place at the National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, England, on October 9, according to recent comments from UK UFC President Marshall Zelaznik in an interview with SetantaSports.com.
Here's the snip:
"Two of our amazing fighters, Michael Bisping and Chris Leben, have just agreed to fight. Everyone knows about Leben’s striking power, and it’s the strike fest everyone wants. It’s the fight everyone wants to see."
Indeed, this has fireworks written all over it — both men prefer to keep on the feet and throw leather. If it does go to the ground, however, Leben possesses a distinct advantage with his underrated ground skills.
"The Crippler" and "The Count" were set to bang it out at UFC 85: "Bedlam" earlier this month. But Leben was jailed for an old parole violation when he turned himself in, which he needed to do if he wanted to obtain a visa to travel overseas to fight in London.
He has since served his time, cleared up the situation and is now set to see if he can continue to stay on the winning path. In fact, Leben is on a two-fight win streak, including a technical knockout of Alessio Sakara at UFC 82: "Pride of a Champion" last month, as well as a sensational come from behind knockout of Terry Martin at UFC Fight Night 11.
Bisping has strung together two impressive wins since dropping down from light heavyweight to middleweight. He took out Charles McCarthy at UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre 2" via technical knockout and came out with guns blazing at UFC 85, putting away Jason Day in the first round.
It won’t be as easy, however, to pound out the super tough and extremely game "Crippler."
Stay tuned for more UFC 89 card updates, which is still about four months from now.