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Leben in no-lose situation against Akiyama at UFC 116

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To me, Chris Leben taking this fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama on less than two weeks notice is a win-win situation for him.

For one, he gets another payday. And judging by what he made at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale ($70,000), that's not a bad thing. On top of that, he's putting himself into the co-main event on what should be one of the biggest shows of the year, meaning more sponsorship money. Not to mention, he puts himself in good position with UFC management by taking the fight on such short notice, when they were undoubtedly looking for a name fighter to fill in.

My question to everybody is this: Will his performance be up to par with such a short turnaround? He can't go out and give a complete stinker of a performance (not that I expect him to), because he'll get leeway for coming in on short notice, but will his body be able to handle the turnaround of another weight cut, not to mention the stress of a prizefight?

Time will tell, but a win against Akiyama will move Leben to a bigger fight, one that could possibly lead him to a title shot, depending on how everything shakes out. Leben is currently the underdog in the eyes of the oddsmakers. If I were a betting man (well, I am), I would expect Leben to go out and fight like he has nothing to lose. And that's because he doesn't.

SBN coverage of UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin