UFC Boss Has Plenty of Regrets with Chris Leben vs. Derek Brunson Fight

Written by Tom Ngo
December 30th, 2012
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UFC Middleweight Chris Leben

The UFC was hoping to end their torrid year with a bang. Unfortunately for the planet’s premier mixed martial arts promotion, the first fight in Saturday’s UFC 155 pay-per-view broadcast was an absolute bust.

Slugger Chris Leben (Pictured) is notorious for his vicious standup game, but it was nowhere to be found last night in Las Vegas. As for opponent Derek Brunson, he was an Octagon rookie serving as last-minute substitute who was expected to be “The Crippler’s” punching bag.

UFC president Dana White was hoping a violent knockout would kick off his final show of 2012. Instead, the 15-minute affair put the fans inside MGM Grand Garden Arena who weren’t booing from boredom to sleep.

“I love Chris Leben, personally and professionally,” White stated during the post-fight press conference. “But [Saturday], I think I made a mistake putting him on the pay-per-view. I should have had him on the undercard. He’s been off with personal problems for a while. He’s had a lot of time off, and he looked slow.

“I wasn’t crazy about that fight. That wasn’t my favorite fight of the night, that’s for damn sure.”

Leben was banned last November by the promotion after testing positive for Oxycodone and Oxymorphone (painkillers) following his UFC 138 loss to Mark Munoz. It marked the second time “The Crippler” had failed a drug exam.

The steroid Stanozolol was found in his system after losing to Michael Bisping at UFC 89 in October 2008.

A win is a win, but Brunson’s big league debut didn’t put him in White’s good graces. While the wrestler may have snapped his two-fight losing skid with an uneventful unanimous decision victory, don’t expect to see him on the PPV portion of an Octagon show anytime soon.

“The other kid was looking at the clock like he was a 14-year-old waiting for school to get out the entire fight. Looking at the clock,” White added. “You’re in the UFC your first time, and I wasn’t very impressed.”

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