Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald entered the Ultimate Fighting Championship with a sleek first round submission win over Team Quest member Ed Herman. At UFC 66, MacDonald will once again step into the octagon with another Team Quest member, this time Chris "The Crippler" Leben.
Leben will be MacDonald’s biggest test on the biggest stage; as this fight will be the pay-per-view debut for both fighters. Leben, The Ultimate Fighter season one veteran, is 6-1 in the UFC (16-2 overall), with his one loss in the octagon having come at the "knees" of reigning UFC middleweight champion. Anderson Silva.
MacDonald has a mixed martial arts record of 17-7, with an impressive fifteen wins by submission. Nevertheless, MacDonald does not consider himself just a submission fighter. "I don’t consider myself a submission guy, but if a submission is there, I’m gonna take it." said MacDonald. MacDonald is on a five fight win streak, with his last three victories coming by submission.
If MacDonald can be labeled a "submission fighter", then his opponent Chris Leben can be labeled a "stand up fighter". Leben is known for his stand up skills and has knock out victories over Jorge Santiago, Justin Davis, Mike Swick, and Jorge Rivera already on his fight resume.
"He’s aggressive, but he has lots of holes and leaves himself wide open." said MacDonald about Leben’s fighting style. "I’ve had a great camp leading up to this fight...been working in the clinch and on my ground and pound. But, I’m in no hurry to take this to the ground, I’m preparing for a stand up war." MacDonald continued.
Both Leben and MacDonald need wins in order to continue to move up the ladder in the UFC middleweight division. Fans have already clamored for a fight between Leben and former middleweight champ Rich Franklin. However, MacDonald plans on making his presence felt in the middleweight division at UFC 66.
"Being the underdog doesn’t change anything, I’m going to push the pace in this fight and capitalize on his mistakes...I’m confident in my abilities." said MacDonald. A win over Leben would put MacDonald among the top fighters in the middleweight division. "I want to be a top guy in the division, I won’t be happy just sitting in the middle...a win over Leben is going to get me started on my way to the top."
MacDonald hopes to make himself 2-0 in the UFC, as well as undefeated against Team Quest members on December 30th. MacDonald’s road to becoming an elite middleweight in the world starts with Chris Leben.