When Chris Leben says he'll fight anybody, he means it. Even if his opponent is an apparent step backwards.
After beating Aaron Simpson and Yoshihiro Akiyama all within two weeks just a couple short months ago, MMA Weekly brings word that "The Crippler" has been rewarded for that feat with a bout against Brian Stann.
Guess Leben will have to wait a little longer for that Wanderlei Silva fight.
As previously mentioned, Leben defeated Aaron Simpson at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11 Finale in late June, only to step in for an injured Wanderlei Silva against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116 just two weeks later where he surprised almost everyone with a submission win over "Sexyama," seemingly propelling him to the top tier of the 185-pound division.
Key word being: seemingly.
"The Axe Murderer" is currently rehabbing from surgery after all, so a fight with Stann very well may have been at Leben's request while Silva continues to heal.
While the old adage of anything can happen in a fight holds true, surely Chris will walk into the cage against Brian as a heavy favorite.
The former Marine quickly made a name for himself in the MMA community using some serious power to dispatch of the first six opponents of his career in the first round via strikes.
After suffering his first loss in a rematch with Steve Cantwell at WEC 35, the WEC's light heavyweight division was absorbed into the UFC, where Stann hasn't enjoyed nearly the same success as he did in the UFC's sister promotion.
Now 9-3, Brian has gone just 3-2 inside the Octagon, losing to Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 97 while defeating Steve Cantwell in their trilogy fight at UFC Fight Night: "Diaz vs. Guillard" and Rodney Wallace at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale. Stann's less than stellar ground game was thoroughly exploited his last time out at UFC 109 against top prospect Phil Davis.
Stann is coming off a submission win of his own at UFC on Versus 2 against Mike Massenzio just last month.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more news on UFC 125 as it becomes available.