Please conduct ALL of your discussion in regards to Aaron Simpson facing Chris Leben in this thread. All threads made in regards to this fight will be merged into this one.
LinkVersatility is a key attribute in the sport of mixed martial arts. Developing all-around skill in multiple disciplines is what helps a good MMA fighter become great.
UFC middleweight Aaron Simpson (7-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is working hard to become just such a fighter. A former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, "A-Train" is quickly making a name for himself through his striking rather than just his grappling.
It's a reputation Simpson is proud to carry.
"I want to be an exciting fighter," Simpson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I don't want to just do enough to win."
Dominant wrestlers are often criticized for boring lay-and-pray tactics. While Simpson's grappling pedigree would certainly allow him to just dominate positioning of he so chose, the Arizona resident has shown he'd prefer to stand and bang.
Witness his January "Fight of the Night" win over Tom Lawlor for proof.
Now Simpson meets an opponent who will undoubtedly oblige in that tactic in Chris Leben (19-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC). The pair meet on the main card of Saturday's Spike TV-broadcast event, The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale in Las Vegas.
While Leben is no longer considered one of the sport's elite middleweights, "The Crippler" does own 10 knockout finishes in his near-eight-year career.
"You never know what you are going to see," Simpson said. "He throws everything in his arsenal. I plan on going out there to try and jump on him early and keep pressure on him."
If the heavy handed Leben plans to brawl, Simpson says ready to weather the storm.
"I feel comfortable standing up there," Simpson said. "I think I'm faster than him, and I'll catch him."
With six of his seven professional fights ending by knockout or TKO, it's understandable that Simpson likes his chances on the feet. But in the interest of versatility, Simpson can always fall back on his wrestling strengths should Leben's slugging power prove intimidating.
"If I need to take him down, I will," Simpson said.
Since coming to the UFC as part of the WEC's decision to focus on later weight classes, Simpson has earned victories over Tim McKenzie, Ed Herman and Lawlor. An impressive win over Leben on Spike TV could potentially move the middleweight into a short list of 185-pound contenders.
Still, the soft-spoken Arizonan remains humble about his UFC role. Just as he strives for versatility in his attack, Simpson is comfortable fighting under any circumstance.
"I feel like I still have to earn my way around here," Simpson said. "I'll take what they give me."
I put $10 down to make $38 if Leben wins.Aaron Simpson is no joke, he showed a great chin and heart in his fight against Lawlor and earned that win. He has great wrestling and his striking is improving. He is just a guy that won't quit, you have to admire that in a fighter. If he can't out strike Leben at this point of his career, i see him using his relentless wrestling and winning by decision or technical knock out. This guy has a lot of potential in MMA.
Well, so be it, that's fighting. I understand you want to keep them safe, but this is almost as bad as, "You can't tackle the QB to the ground anymore in the NFL." It's really hurting the sport, IMO. In all honesty, we could've seen Leben run over and end up on his back from a Simpson TD.yeah and one more left from Leben and he was going back down
Yes, that's how it is. I'm not exactly sure of the rule, but I don't know how many people got called for "Roughing the Passer" this past season because they didn't tackle the QB a particular way.edit:
woah what do you mean you can take a QB to the ground anymore in the nfl? i dont really follow football but that is terribad if thats how it is now.