Up and coming middleweight fighter Andrew Craig will be in the biggest fight of his professional career come July 6th at UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman for the main event on FX. While Craig says he’s sparring with light-heavyweights and heavyweights, it may not make a difference when he steps inside the Octagon with Chris “The Crippler” Leben, who has seventeen more UFC fights than the Texan.
Craig (8-1, 2-1 UFC) continues to find himself the underdog every time he sets foot in the Octagon, he was able to score eight-straight wins before running into a roadblock in Ronny Markes, which is his only lossin MMA. The never say die fighter can surely make a name for himself if he can find a way to beat Leben next weekend and put his name back in the win column while he’s at it. Craig feels he’s a more dynamic, refined version of his opponent.
“I think it’s a good sign the UFC gave me Chris Leben,” Craig told UFC.com. “They know I’m not the type to go in there and put on a boring fight and, obviously, Chris Leben isn’t the type either. I think even with the third round alone against Markes, they can see that I’m going in there and going for the kill and going for a knockout or some sort of stoppage. I felt very complemented and rewarded by getting the Leben fight. A, it’s going to be a fun opponent, and B, he has such a following and people tune into watch him, so putting me in there with him will only up my value as well.”
Leben (22-9, 12-8 UFC) has lost his last two fights to Mark Munoz and Derek Brunson, and if he loses to Craig at UFC 162, it could very well be the end of the road for Leben in the UFC. Beloved by many fight fans, Leben possesses the will to take any amount of shots any man can dish out when he’s focused and determined, as evident in his set record of two UFC wins in two weeks.
Who will come out on top when these two strikers meet in the middle of the cage?