UFC 168: 'Gritty' Chris Leben plans to 'break' Uriah Hall

USA TODAY Sports

Chris Leben isn't ready to give up his spot on UFC's roster just yet, which is the reason he is prepared to push the pace to take the struggling The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 runner up into deep water at UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently revealed that if Uriah Hall comes up short against Chris Leben at UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada, "Primetime" could be out of a job with the premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.

While White wouldn't fully commit to saying the same goes for "The Crippler" if he loses, Leben knows that his upcoming Middleweight showdown against the "fancy" striker could be a "loser walks" showdown.

Leben gave his take on implications of the pivotal bout (via Bleacher Report):

"After what Dana said about his last fight, Hall is definitely in a must-win situation. We both kind of are, and that's what makes this fight exciting. It seems like this is one of those fights where the winner stays, and the loser walks. It feels like that kind of a deal. This is definitely a match up for the fans. We are polar opposites, Uriah Hall and I. He's athletic. He's fancy, but when the going gets tough, sometimes Hall gets going. I'm the dead opposite. There isn't anything fancy about my game. I'm not the most athletic fighter in the world. I've won so many fights I should have lost on sheer grit alone. And I know that. I know that coming into this fight it is going to be straight punches and basics that win this fight for me. It's going to be moving forward and forcing this guy to continue to fight and hopefully somewhere along the line we are going to break him. We are going to get him out in that deep water, and he's going to fail to keep his head above."

Indeed, Leben has struggled inside the Octagon as of late, losing three straight since knocking out Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132 in 2011. With 21 UFC fights under his belt already, No. 22 could prove to be his last if he doesn't manage to score and important win.

Hall, on the other hand, has failed to live up to expectations after bursting onto the scene on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 thanks to his insane knockout power.

However, after losing to Kelvin Gastelum at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, "Primetime" came up short on the judges' scorecards yet again at UFC Fight Night 26, losing to John Howard via split decision. And if he wants to prove he has what it takes to be a contender in the 185-pound division, Hall will need to take out one of the more durable and game fighters to ever step foot inside the Octagon.

Or die trying.

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