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UFC 85: Michael Bisping vs. Chris Leben? (Update)

bisping leben
Preface: This is a theoretical post for the most part and not a fight announcement. UPDATE: has just learned that Leben has signed a contract to fight in London ... hmmm. is reporting that James Irvin is being considered as a possible replacement for the injured Chuck Liddell to take on Rashad Evans at UFC 85 in London, England, on June 7.

That doesn't seem to make much sense ... not as a main event, anyway.

Of course, options are limited because there aren't too many marquee match ups that can headline a major UFC event with about six weeks notice. Georges St. Pierre vs. Jon Fitch for the welterweight title would be the logical fight -- both fighters are in shape.

However, "Rush" has complained about some injuries (shoulder/hand) in some post UFC 83 fight interviews. And it's doubtful that he would risk further injury and take a big fight less than 100 percent on short notice.

Moving the 205-pound showdown between Wanderlei Silva and Keith Jardine slated for UFC 84: "Ill Will" is an option. However, booking a 185-pound tilt between sluggers Michael Bisping and Chris Leben might be a better one.

Why not?

Sure, it doesn't have a Liddell-type draw ... but what fights do besides others that include Tito Ortiz? And we all know that's not going to happen.

Leben called out Bisping and "The Count" is a popular local attraction. "The Crippler" is one of the best personalities to market a fight -- love him or hate him -- and is on a nice little run.

No matter what happens it's safe to say that fans are going to complain short of a title fight. And those chances are slim. In short, the ace up the sleeve right now is to include Bisping on this card and hopefully add another solid match up (who knows -- that could be Evans vs. Irvin after all).

Let's remember: There are some nice fights already slated for this event such as Marcus Davis vs. Mike Swick, Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum, Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites ... this list goes on.

Add two more solid, high-profile fights -- one that includes Bisping (who has already been a main eventer in New Jersey of all places) -- and that might be the answer.

Time will tell.

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