Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen: Two 'animals' who wanted to fight Rashad Evans at UFC 133


When Phil Davis had a falling out with his knee, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had to scramble to replace him in the main event of UFC 133 on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia.

But finding a light heavyweight to challenge Rashad Evans on short notice is no easy task.

Aside from "Suga" being a former 205-pound champion with a record of 15-1-1, the fight is less than a month away, which is probably why Tito Ortiz, who worked so hard to regain some traction at UFC 132 back on July 2, initially turned the fight down.

It may also be the reason why Lyoto Machida demanded "Anderson Silva money" to take the fight.

Of course, such petty obstacles like money and training are the plight of mortal men, not "animals" like Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen, who both chased down UFC President Dana White to get a piece of the Evans pay-per-view pie.

"We got lots of guys that are animals, you know what I mean," Dana asked Mauro Ranallo on The Fight Show. "Like (Chris) Leben. Leben wanted the fight. Leben wanted to take the fight, Chael Sonnen wanted the fight. But those guys are 185-pounders. And I appreciate their desire, their fire but no, we want guys that are 205-pounders that are real fights at 205."

Like Ortiz, Leben is fresh off a first round destruction at UFC 132 earlier this month. Unlike Ortiz, "The Crippler" is only a middleweight. That means a significant weight disadvantage against Evans, one of the sport's better wrestlers.

Sonnen, himself a talented mat technician and a fairly large 185-pounder, may have fared a little better. Unfortunately he's already booked to throw hands opposite Brian Stann at UFC 136 in October.

The good news is Tito came around and decided to rematch Evans when Machida declined. The even better news is that "animals" like Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen fight for the UFC.

Anyone think either of those two middleweights can make some noise at 205?

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