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UFC 155: Mid-Card Highlights

UFC 155 is less than a day away and while a lot of hype has surrounded the Heavyweight Championship main event between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez the mid-card is also offering some fights that are worth a bit of discussion.

Chris Leben versus Derek Brunson

Leben has had a great MMA career with a record of 22 wins and eight losses.  He will be taking on a young all-around solid fighter with a 9-2 record in Derek Brunson. Leben is not only going to be physically invested in this match but also emotionally invested.

The last time MMA fans saw Leben was roughly a year ago at UFC 138 when Mark Munoz destroyed him over two rounds.  Leben followed up that disheartening loss by then failing a drug test for painkillers leading to him being banned form the UFC for a year.   Leben has since opened up to the media about his struggle with drug addiction and how he is now clean. UFC 155 marks his return from UFC exile.   Leben wants to get things rolling in a positive direction with his first fight back.  Brunson will be looking to spoil this come back story, however, and start making a name for himself with a high profile win.

Leben’s money line for the fight is -160 compared to Brunson’s +130.

Alan Belcher versus Yushin Okami

The middle weight title picture could change greatly depending on what the results of this fight are.  While the UFC’s most hated fighter, Michael Bispeng has been promised a fight with Anderson Silva if he can win in January that “if he can win” part has driven a lot of middle weights to begin their bids at the Middleweight Championship.

If Belcher can defeat Okami he will be looked at as a serious contender for Anderson Silva’s title and while it is a crowded title picture it will put Belcher’s name in the hat if he can win.

The money line for this fight is an even -115 for both fighters.

Jim Miller versus Joe Lauzon

Pictured Jim Miller

This is a fight between two lightweights to prove that they belong among the top fighters in the most crowded division in the UFC.

Both Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon initially showed promise as true lightweight title contenders, but then both suffered disheartening losses.  Now they will be pitted against each other in a fight that from my prespective is a must win bout for both these fighters.

Miller needs to win to prove he is still relevant and Lauzon needs to win to prove he belonged in the first place.  A loss for either one of these guys could mean a fall into MMA obscurity.

Joe Miller has a slight edge against Lauzon in the odds with a -225 money line.  Lauzon’s money line is at +175.

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