A middleweight bout between TUF 1 cast member Chris Leben and undefeated prospect Aaron Simpson originally set for the un-aired preliminary portion of the UFC 114 card in May has reportedly been moved to the televised main card portion of The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale in June.
It is not yet known why the bout was moved. However, with the UFC 114 main card set and numerous bouts on the event's prelims being considered main card worthy, including Melvin Guillard vs. Thiago Tavares, Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow, Efrain Escudero vs. Dan Lauzon, Luiz Cane vs. Cyrille Diabate, along with Leben vs. Simpson, it comes as no surprise that the promotion would move one of those main card worthy bouts to a future event's main card.
Leben (19-6) is coming off of a win over Jay Silva at UFC Fight Night 20 in January. Prior to the win, he lost back-to-back fights against Michael Bisping and Jake Rosholt. Leben has put together a 9-5 record with the UFC during his long five-year tenure with the promotion, scoring other notable Octagon wins over Luigi Fioravanti, Patrick Cote, Jorge Rivera, Jorge Santiago, Terry Martin and Alessio Sakara.
Leben has fought for other notable promotions over his eight-year career such as Gladiator Challenge, SportFight, Freestyle Fighting Championships and the WEC. He has finished 14 of his 19 career wins, including 10 by TKO or KO and holds notable career wins outside the UFC over Benji Radach and Mike Swick.
Simpson opened up his UFC career in impressive fashion by scoring back-to-back first round TKO wins over Tim McKenzie at UFC Fight Night 18 and Ed Herman at UFC 102. However, his most recent UFC fight was marred by a bit of controversy, as he narrowly earned a split decision nod over Tom Lawlor at January's UFC Fight Night 20.
Prior to entering the UFC, Simpson defeated David Avellan at WEC 36 in November 2008 in what was his only bout with the other ZUFFA-owned promotion. He has put together an undefeated 7-0 MMA record since making his professional debut in October 2007. Despite a strong wrestling base, the former Arizona State University wrestling coach has finished all but one of his seven career wins by TKO or KO.
Though not officially announced, TUF 11 Finale will likely take place on June 19 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will air live on Spike TV. The event could be headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between past TUF alums Keith Jardine and Matt Hamill.
The event will also feature the middleweight finalists from the 11th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" square off for a six-figure UFC contract.