Love him or hate him, Chris Leben has become a mainstay in the UFC since his time on The Ultimate Fighter.

Leben informed Inside MMA recently that he is anticipating a July return to the Octagon. “The Crippler” spent nearly all of 2012 on the sidelines due to a suspension, returning in December against Derek Brunson – which resulted in a loss via decision.

“[I’m going to fight again] soon,” Leben said. “I actually just got off the horn with Joe Silva, looks like they’ve got an opponent. As soon as he goes ahead and signs the fight then I’ll be able to go ahead and let everybody know.”

Since stringing together a 5-2 record from 2007-2010, Leben has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights. He is now 22-9 overall in his career.

The UFC has announced UFC 162 for July.

I feel as if Leben needs to be matched up with another brawler, much like the UFC did with Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann. Otherwise, he will likely fall victim to the same result as the Brunson match.

Photo credit: Sherdog