Middleweight brawler Chris Leben will return to the cage at UFC 155 to take on Karlos Vemola, UFC officials announced Wednesday.
UFC 155 takes place Dec. 29 and is expected to feature a heavyweight title rematch between reigning champion Junior dos Santos and ex-kingpin Cain Velasquez. A venue has not yet been announced for the event, but the show will take place in Las Vegas and air live on pay-per-view.
Leben, 32, was handed a year-long suspension by the UFC after failing his drug test at UFC 138 this past November. “The Crippler” faced Mark Munoz in that encounter, falling by second-round technical knockout after his corner deemed him unable to answer the call to start round three. Prior to that defeat, Leben had won four of his last five, knocking out Wanderlei Silva in just 27 seconds at UFC 132 after kicking off 2011 with a UFC 125 stoppage loss at the hands of Brian Stann.
A former heavyweight, 27-year-old Vemola made the cut to 205 pounds last year before dropping to middleweight this past May. The Czech-born competitor made a successful 185-pound debut, choking out Mike Massenzio at UFC on Fox 3 prior to stumbling in his most recent outing against Francis Carmont, submitting to the Frenchman two months ago at UFC on Fuel TV 4.