Leben vs. Rosholt

UFC 102 takes place on Saturday, Aug. 29 from the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. and one of the main card bouts features middleweights Chris Leben and Jake Rosholt.

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Leben is the favorite heading into the fight with a betting line of -165 while Rosholt has a line of +135 according to online sports book SBGGLOBAL. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this fight.

Chris Leben (18-5 MMA Record):

Strengths: Leben is well known for his striking power. His heavy hands have earned him plenty of knockout wins over his career. Leben also has improved his ground game, doing a better job of avoiding submissions and being able to score takedowns.

Weaknesses: Leben has not done a good job of evolving with the sport. Leben won his first five UFC fights due to his power, but as striking evolved and became more about quickness and accuracy, Leben’s success has faded. His ground skills have improved, but not to the level where he can fend off top-notch wrestlers, like his opponent is on Saturday.

Last Five Fights:

Unanimous decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 89 on Oct. 18, 2008

First round TKO win over Alessio Sakara at UFC 82 on March 1, 2008

Third round KO win over Terry Martin at UFC Fight Night 11 on Sept. 19, 2007

Unanimous decision loss to Kalib Starnes at UFC 71 on May 26, 2007

Second round submission loss to Jason MacDonald at UFC 66 on Dec. 30, 2006

              

Jake Rosholt (5-1 MMA Record):

Strengths: Wrestling is the strength of Rosholt, who was a four-time All-American and three-time national champion at Oklahoma State. Now training with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nev. Rosholt is the newest collegiate wrestling champion to make his way into mainstream MMA.

Weaknesses: Typcially wrestlers struggle early in their careers with the striking aspects of fighting and the ability to do damage once the fight gets to the ground. Rosholt should be able to get takedowns on Leben, but can he mix up strikes with takedown attempts to keep Leben guessing and once he gets Leben to the ground, can he pass guard and get to a dominant position to get a ground-and-pound victory?

Last Five Fights:

First round submission loss to Dan Miller at UFC Fight Night 17 on Feb. 7, 2009

Second round TKO win over Nissen Osterneck at WEC 36 on Nov. 5, 2008

Third round TKO win over Chad Jay at EFL on March 15, 2008

First round TKO win over Jeremiah Caves at HRP Fight Night on Nov. 16, 2007

Third round TKO win over Christoper Clark at MOTC 16 on Sept. 28, 2007

 

Who will win: Leben needs to keep this fight standing where he can land a big punch on Rosholt to get the win. Rosholt will be looking for the takedowns early to get the fight to the ground where he is more comfortable. Leben was in great shape in his last fight against Bisping, but also failed a post-fight drug test for performance enhancing drugs that caused a lengthy suspension. If Leben has continued to train hard and is improving in his takedown defense and ground skills, I think he gets the TKO win in round two. Otherwise, it could be a long night. I see Leben being motivated to win, as another loss could send him out of the UFC.

Additional Line: Over/Under 7.5 minutes for fight length. Under (-120) Over (+120)

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Posted: 8/27/09 3:43PM ET

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