UFC 155: Which Fighter Has the Most to Gain?

Kyle SymesCorrespondent IIIDecember 28, 2012


The phrase "You're not even supposed to be here!" could apply to one fighter in particular. He's in a position with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Indeed Derek Brunson really isn't supposed to be here. He shouldn't be fighting a guy like Chris Leben in his Octagon debut. Especially given the fact he's coming off two-straight losses, including a KO loss to grappling wizard Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.

It's not that Brunson doesn't have the skills. He's more than up to the task of taking on anyone and had it not been for a contract issue, likely would've been competing on The Ultimate Fighter 17. Now Brunson gets the chance to bypass the craziness of a reality show and jump straight into the Octagon.

His UFC debut won't be an easy one as Leben is a guy who's been with the UFC since the original Ultimate Fighter. He has dangerous KO power in either hand and is a very good jiu-jitsu player despite only being a blue belt.

That combination presents more than enough of a challenge for Brunson to overcome in his UFC debut. Add in the fact Brunson is stepping in on extremely short notice and it could be a rough night for the former Strikeforce fighter.

Luckily for Brunson his opponent has some issues of his own. Leben's mental state is always an x-factor when coming into a fight and his past history with drugs and alcohol are well documented. He's also coming off an extreme layoff after being out of action for over a year.

Still, Leben is regarded as one of the better middleweights in the UFC and is being universally picked to defeat Brunson. The former Strikeforce fighter is in the true underdog position as nobody expects him to do much of anything against "The Crippler."

It is for that reason that Brunson has the most to gain at UFC 155. Sure there are guys competing for titles and jostling each other for position in the rankings, but given the fact Brunson is expected to do nothing more than lose to Leben, Brunson could shock the MMA world by defeating "The Crippler."