Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig
Yves Levigne is the referee for this lightweight matchup. Leben rushes forward and an early scramble ends inconclusively. Leben goes for a single with Craig against the fence and lands it. Back to their feet. Craig lands a knee and pushes Leben away. Leben pushes forward and opens up with a pair of punches and a knee, which gets a rise from the crowd, but Craig clinches him. Craig with a standing elbow. Craig with a right hand, Leben answers with a left. Craig with a head kick and a right hand which wobbles Leben. Still, Leben pushes forward. One minute left. Leben with another takedown. Craig right back up. Both guys fling wild punches, Leben lands an uppercut. Back to center octagon. Leben sprawls a late takedown attempt.
Leben fires a left at the outset. Fires another one and misses bad. They clinch along the fence awhile, with neither fighter able to accomplish much. Craig lands a knee from a Thai clinch. Leben shakes it off. Craig shakes off a Leben takedown attempt. Midway through the round. Craig is backing away when Leben charges and Leben is noticeably slower when he moves forward. Both guys picking their spots. Craig connects with a solid leg kick. Some dirty boxing, with Leben landing the more solid blows. Leben still pressing forward.
A firefight in the early going. Craig rocks Leben and drops him to the mat. Leben is trying to hang on as Craig lands several shots. Leben gets back to his feet. A "Leben" chant comes in waves through the crowd. Craig rope-a-dopes Leben, who is bleeding around his nose. They break. Craig takes a deep breath as Leben moves forward. Craig tags and drops Leben again. Two minutes left. Leben again back to his feet. The crowd approves. Craig backpedals and makes Leben come after him. Craig with a takedown with just over a minute left. He moves Leben back toward the fence. Craig with another takedown as the seconds wind down.
Andrew Craig def. Chris Leben split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).
I was rooting for Chris too, Ben. He sure is game, I can't believe he got out of the G&P early in rd. 3.
Rejoice ever more. 1 Thessalonians 5:16