Veteran power puncher Chris Leben will return to competition on July 6, as “The Crippler” faces Andrew Craig in a middleweight showdown at UFC 162.
UFC officials announced the booking Tuesday, also revealing that Seth Baczynski will welcome Strikeforce import Brian Melancon to the Octagon at the event, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The UFC 162 main card airs live on pay-per-view and is topped by a middleweight title showdown between longtime champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chris Weidman.
Leben, 32, has lost three of his last four fights, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to Strikeforce vet Derek Brunson last December at UFC 155. Craig suffered the first loss of his career in his last outing, as Brazilian talent Ronny Markes took a unanimous decision from the Texan on Jan. 19, snapping Craig’s eight-fight winning streak.
Baczynski, 31, had won six straight fights prior to his Dec. 15 showdown with Mike Pierce, which resulted in a unanimous decision defeat for “The Polish Pistola.” In Melancon, Baczynski faces an eight-fight pro who last competed in September 2011, when he outpointed Felipe Portela at Strikeforce Challengers 19.