chris-leben-18.jpg“The Crippler” returns at UFC 162, and he’ll have a “Highlight” waiting on him in the cage. Additionally, “The Polish Pistola” meets Brian Melancon (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

UFC officials revealed on Tuesday’s new edition of “UFC Tonight” that Chris Leben (22-9 MMA, 12-8 UFC) has been booked for the July event against once-beaten Texan Andrew Craig (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC). Meanwhile Seth Baczynski (18-9 MMA, 4-2 UFC) meets two-time Strikeforce vet Brian Melancon.

Featuring a headlining bout of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva vs. top contender Chris Weidman, UFC 162 takes place July 6 at at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. The evening’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the two new matchups will be slotted on the evening’s lineup.

Leben returns to action after a disappointing loss to Strikeforce import Derek Brunson at December’s UFC 155 event. A longtime fan-favorite and former cast member on the original edition of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Leben is actually mired in a 1-3 slump and could certainly use a positive result. Meanwhile, Craig looks to rebound from a lackluster decision loss to Ronny Markes at January’s UFC on FX 7 event in Brazil. It was the first loss for Craig, who had opened his octagon career with victories over Rafael Natal and Kyle Noke.

Baczynski looks to rebound from a unanimous-decision loss to Mike Pierce at this past December’s UFC on FX 6 event. The disappointing loss snapped a six-fight win streak that included four octagon victories. Meanwhile, Melancon makes his UFC debut following a two-fight stint under the Strikeforce banner that saw him lose a split decision to Isaac Vallie-Flagg before bouncing back with a decision victory over Felipe Portela.

With the new announcement, the UFC 162 lineup now includes:

  • Champ Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman – for middleweight title
  • Tim Boetsch vs. Mark Munoz
  • Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy
  • Andrew Craig vs. Chris Leben
  • Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon

For the latest on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Chris Leben)

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