Though relegated to the FX undercard, fan favorite Chris Leben’s return to the Octagon and latest effort to resume his winning ways was, save obviously for the Middleweight Championship main-event, one of the most anticipated elements of Saturday’s UFC 162 card.
Unfortunately, Andrew Craig reaped the biggest reward from that anticipation, outpointing a flat Leben en route to a split decision victory.
Leben spent much of the fight as the aggressor, but his offensive combination of takedown attempts and punches did little to rattle Craig, who remained composed for the majority of the battle. Save for a big striking exchange at the onset of round three, one that almost finished Leben, Craig was far from an offensive powerhouse in the fight, but his effort was enough to win victory on two of the three scorecards.
One scorecard, in fact, gave Craig a 30-27 victory.
Full results of the UFC 162 prelims, including details on Gabriel Gonzaga’s lightning-fast knockout win, follow:
Mike Pierce b. David Mitchell via TKO (punches) at 2:55 of Round Two
Brian Melancon b. Seth Baczynski via KO (punches) at 4:59 of Round One
Edson Barboza b. Rafaello Oliveira via TKO (leg kicks) at 1:44 of Round Two
Gabriel Gonzaga b. Dave Herman via KO (punches) at :17 of Round One
Norman Parke b. Kazuki Tokudome via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Andrew Craig b. Chris Leben via SD (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)