I know, I know, you've heard the expression "don't blink" 100 times already, but seriously, don't blink when Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben throw hands at UFC 132: "Cruz vs. Faber II" this Saturday night (July 2) in Las Vegas.
Both fighters have a knack for putting people to sleep, just as both fighters have amassed a rabid fan base for slinging leather with reckless abandon. So who lands first and who takes a nap?
The oddsmakers are leaning towards "The Axe Murderer," who chops his way into "Sin City" as the -175 favorite.
That leaves Leben, one of the original "Ultimate Fighters," a +155 underdog against the former PRIDE star, who hasn't competed in more than a year, remaining on the sidelines since a unanimous decision win over Michael Bisping at UFC 110 back in Feb. 2010.
The Brazilian was supposed to return to the Octagon opposite Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116 last summer; however, cracked ribs sustained in training forced him out of the 185-pound co-main event.
Leben -- just two weeks removed from a technical knockout win over Aaron Simpson -- actually stepped in as Silva's late replacement. And he ended up strangling "Sexyama" with a thrilling third round triangle choke.
It seemed as though a clash between Silva and Leben was imminent -- both fighters campaigned for the match-up. But before it could happen, "The Crippler" accepted a fight opposite Brian Stann, who scored a stunning upset with a technical knockout finish of the granite-chinned gunslinger.
Silva wasn't too keen on fighting the "All American," feeling as though his stateside fans would frown upon him beating up a war veteran. So he stuck to his guns and remained steadfast in his desire to punch it out with Leben, which could elevate him back into contendership if he's able to expand his highlight reel on fight night.
Ask and you shall receive.
Wanderlei Silva (-175) vs. Chris Leben (+155) at UFC 132.
Who ya' got?
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