Two fights in two weeks? No sweat if you're Chris Leben. Leben, coming in as a late replacement after beating Aaron Simpson two weeks ago at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, beat Yoshihiro Akiyama by triangle choke late in the third round Sunday at UFC 116.
The fight started with Akiyama catching a kick right off the bat and taking Leben down but they get back up right away. Leg kick for Leben. Leben rushes in and lands a shot and follows with another kick. Akiyama with a hook and Leben responds with a harder shot. Akiyama with a kick but it finds Leben's cup and he needs some time. The fight restarts and Akiyama with a nice trip takedown. Leben looks for an armbar briefly. He goes for it again but Akiyama pulls out and ends up going for an armbar of his own. He switches to a reverse mount but Leben escapes. Akiyama in half-guard. They stand with 30 seconds left and clinch against the cage. Akiyama catches Leben lunging in and trips him down again as the buzzer sounds.
Akiyama lands a spinning backlist while Leben connects as he is coming around. Leben tags Akiyama with a hook. Leben is landing but Leben is hurt too. They are swinging away here. Wow. Both men just swinging away here and they clinch against the cage. Akiyama with a trip takedown out of the clinch. Akiyama is tired but he is on top with 2:30 to go in the round. Leben sits against the cage but comes back down. Leben stands and back into the clinch with his back on the cage. Leben cut under the right eye. Leben with a standing guillotine for a moment but they break. Right for Akiyama. They go back to swinging again. Leben teeing off on Akiyama now with no defense. Akiyama clinches. Crazy round.
Head kick lands for Leben. Akiyama takes Leben down by catching a kick and landing a punch. Full guard. Leben throws his legs up for an armbar again. Akiyama picks Leben up and stands him on his head and gets out. Akiyama counts. Leben tries to buck but Akiyama maintains control. Less than half the round to go. Half-guard now for Akiyama. Leben landing more from the body. Leben regains full guard and throwing from the bottom. Akiyama not doing much but he is moving. Leben moves into a triangle with 32 seconds left. It's deep. And Akiyama taps. Unbelievable. The time is 4:40.