Unbeaten middleweight Aaron Simpson will meet Chris Leben in a featured match at “The Ultimate Fighter 11” Finale on June 19 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Four fights, including the headliner between Keith Jardine and Matt Hamill, have been booked for the event.
Perfect in seven professional appearances, Simpson earned a controversial split decision against Tom Lawlor at UFC Fight Night 20 in January. The 35-year-old has delivered six of his seven victories by knockout or technical knockout, four of them inside one round. Simpson was a two-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Arizona State University.
Leben, 29, has lost two of his last three fights but outpointed Jay Silva in a unanimous decision four months ago. Victories over reigning Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago, American Kickboxing Academy standout Mike Swick and former UFC middleweight title contender Patrick Cote anchor his resume. Now based in Hawaii, Leben has been knocked out only once in 25 professional bouts.
Lightweights will share “The Ultimate Fighter 11” stage, as Spencer Fisher collides with Dennis Siver in what promises to be a high-octane encounter.
Spawned by the Miletich Fighting Systems camp, Fisher has not competed since he submitted to strikes from Joe Stevenson at UFC 104 in October; it was only the second time in his career he had been finished. The 33-year-old Cashiers, N.C., native owns notable victories over world-ranked welterweight Thiago Alves, Josh Neer and Caol Uno. 19 of his 23 wins have come via KO, TKO or submission.
Siver has posted four wins in five fights but dropped a unanimous decision to “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night 21 in March. The 31-year-old Russian-born German counts victories over recent Bellator Fighting Championships signee “Judo” Jim Wallhead and UFC veterans Naoyuki Kotani, Nate Mohr and Paul Kelly among his 15 career conquests.
Meanwhile, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 semi-finalist James McSweeney will welcome the undefeated Travis Browne to the Octagon in a preliminary heavyweight tilt.
Anchored at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., McSweeney has never gone the distance in eight professional bouts. The 29-year-old Cage Rage veteran made his promotional debut in December, when he stopped Darrill Schoonover on third-round strikes at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale. Six of McSweeney’s eight fights have ended inside the first round.
The 6-foot-7, 250-pound Browne has finished his last three foes in 35 seconds or less. Only one of his nine fights has reached the judges. A Bellator veteran who trains alongside Phil Davis, Brandon Vera and World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz at the Alliance Training Center in California, Browne knocked out Aaron Brink under the Gladiator Challenge banner in February.