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Chris Leben
Born July 21, 1980 (1980-07-21) (age 29)
Portland, Oregon
Other names The Crippler
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Style Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling
Stance Southpaw
Fighting out of Oahu, Hawaii
Team Icon Fitness MMA
MMA record
Total 25
Wins 19
By knockout 10
By submission 4
By decision 5
Losses 6

Chris Leben (born July 21, 1980) is an American mixed martial artist (MMA) best known for his appearance on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, a reality television series produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and broadcast on Spike TV. Leben served a 9-month suspension in the UFC starting in 2008 after testing positive for the performance enhancing drug Stanozolol.[1]


Mixed martial arts

The Ultimate Fighter

Leben was one of the most controversial and outspoken fighters on the show due to his tough-guy attitude contrasted by his propensity to shed tears. In the first episode he got drunk and urinated on future teammate Jason Thacker's bed,[2] stealing his pillow afterward. One night when everyone in the household was drinking, Bobby Southworth referred to Chris as a "fatherless bastard" on account of Chris' father not being there during his childhood, causing other members to hold Chris back, who was in a rage. After a heated confrontation where Josh Koscheck and Bobby Southworth sprayed Leben down with a hose while he was asleep,[3] Leben punched a window out.[4] After the confrontation, UFC president Dana White set up a match between Leben and Koscheck. Leben ended up losing the two-round fight by unanimous decision due to Koscheck's ability to score points by controlling Leben on the ground. Leben was visibly upset.

Later in the show, teammate Nate Quarry was eliminated from the competition due to an ankle injury and was told he could choose a previously eliminated fighter to replace him. He chose Leben, who was later defeated by Kenny Florian due to doctor stoppage in the first semi-final match after Florian opened up a cut above Leben’s eye with an elbow strike. His losses on the taped show do not appear on his professional record, as those fights were officially classified by Nevada as exhibition bouts.

On April 9, 2005, Leben fought Jason Thacker on the undercard of The Ultimate Fighter's live finale. Thacker was not amused when he watched the show and found out Leben had used his bed as a urinal. Speaking with Dana White, Thacker demanded a match against Leben at the finale. The match was set up, and Leben won 95 seconds into the first round after referee stoppage due to strikes. Afterward, Leben apologized to Thacker for urinating on his bed, saying he had since given up drinking because of that sort of incident.

MMA career

After the show, Leben moved to Seattle, Washington to train with the mixed martial arts team AMC Pankration. Prior to the show, he had trained with Gresham, Oregon-based Team Quest. He has competed in several UFC events since the show, and is the only person to have fought in the first six Ultimate Fight Night events. Leben has an 8–5 record in the UFC, including a TKO win over fellow TUF alumni Jason Thacker, a split decision win over TUF finalist Patrick Côté, an armbar submission against Edwin Dewees, a first-round TKO over Jorge Rivera, and a unanimous decision over Luigi Fioravanti.

Leben was defeated by Anderson Silva at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 5 on June 28, 2006 by knockout 49 seconds into the first round. Despite such a devastating loss, he wanted to be back in the ring and fighting immediately to prove he had not lost his edge. He got his fight at UFC Fight Night 6 on August 17, 2006. He defeated Jorge Santiago by knockout 35 seconds into the second round.

Leben then lost at UFC 66 to Canadian fighter Jason MacDonald by modified guillotine choke with less than a minute remaining in the second round. Leben then lost to Canadian Kalib Starnes by unanimous decision at UFC 71 on May 26, 2007.

Since UFC 71, Leben has moved to East Oahu, Hawaii to accept the main coaching job at Icon Fitness MMA Gym.[5] ICON Sport promoter T. Jay Thompson has commented, saying, "I am very excited to have Chris at our new facility. His energy and overall enthusiasm for the sport will add tremendously to our gym. I am very impressed with the family friendly 'outside of the cage' personality of Chris and what that will mean to our members."[6] In addition to training at ICON, Chris and fighter Steven "The Soul Samurai" Saito opened Ultimate Fight School gym in Oahu in January, located two blocks from the University of Hawaii campus.[7]

It was reported that Leben was offered a main event fight against Mike Swick at UFC Fight Night 11, but turned down the fight for unknown reasons; it was later revealed on the Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Reunion show by UFC President Dana White's call to matchmaker Joe Silva that Chris' camp turned down the fight and that Chris himself had no prior knowledge of the fight offer.[8] Leben instead took on Terry Martin on the same UFC Fight Night 11 card. Even after being rocked with multiple punches by Martin, a half-dazed Leben defeated Martin by knockout at 3:56 of the third round. Later, at UFC 82, he knocked out Alessio Sakara, winning "Knockout of the night" award.

His next fight was against Michael Bisping at UFC 89, which he lost by a unanimous decision after a full three rounds. Leben taunted Bisping throughout the last two rounds by dropping his arms and raising his chin.[9] The judges scored the fight 30–27 (twice), and 29–28 for Bisping.[10] Bisping used effective counter punching in the fight to keep the aggressive Leben at bay.[11]

After the fight with Bisping, Leben tested positive for Stanozolol and was suspended for nine months and fined a third of his fight purse.[12][13] He was eligible to return in July 2009.[14] Leben admitted he had used the substance several months prior to the fight, but stated he had assumed it would have been out of his system by then.

Leben then fought WEC transplant and elite wrestler Jake Rosholt at UFC 102 in Portland, Oregon.[15]. After a close fight, he was rendered unconscious in the third round of the fight via an arm triangle choke, losing the fight by submission.

Leben most recently faced Jay Silva on January 11, 2010 at UFC Fight Night 20, winning via Unanimous Decision.

DUI arrest reported on April 30, 2008, that Leben was arrested in Oregon by Clackamas County Sheriffs for DUI stemming from an earlier date.[16] He was kept in jail and temporarily held without bond for allegedly violating his probation. Leben was then sentenced to 35 days in jail, causing his match against Michael Bisping at UFC 85 to be rescheduled for UFC 89.

MMA record

Record Date Result Opponent Event Method Round Time Location Notes
19-6 2010-01-11 Win Brazil Jay Silva UFC Fight Night 20: Maynard vs. Diaz Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 United States Fairfax, Virginia, United States
18-6 2009-08-29 Loss United States Jake Rosholt UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira Technical Submission (Arm Triangle) 3 1:30 United States Portland, Oregon, United States
18–5 2008-10-18 Loss United Kingdom Michael Bisping UFC 89: Bisping vs. Leben Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 United Kingdom Birmingham, England, United Kingdom Chris Leben tested positive for steroids after this fight.
18–4 2008-03-01 Win Italy Alessio Sakara UFC 82: Pride Of A Champion TKO (Punches) 1 3:16 United States Columbus, Ohio, US Won Knock Out of the Night Honors
17–4 2007-09-19 Win United States Terry Martin UFC Fight Night 11: Thomas vs Florian KO (Punch) 3 3:56 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
16–4 2007-05-26 Loss Canada Kalib Starnes UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US Won Fight of the Night Honors
16–3 2006-12-30 Loss Canada Jason MacDonald UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 Submission (Modified Guillotine Choke) 2 4:03 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
16–2 2006-08-17 Win Brazil Jorge Santiago UFC Fight Night 6 KO (Punch) 2 0:35 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
15–2 2006-06-28 Loss Brazil Anderson Silva UFC Ultimate Fight Night 5 KO (Knee) 1 0:49 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
15–1 2006-04-06 Win United States Luigi Fioravanti UFC Ultimate Fight Night 4 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
14–1 2006-01-16 Win United States Jorge Rivera UFC Ultimate Fight Night 3 TKO (Punches) 1 1:44 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
13–1 2005-10-03 Win United States Edwin Dewees UFC Ultimate Fight Night 2 Submission (Armbar) 1 3:26 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
12–1 2005-08-06 Win Canada Patrick Côté UFC Ultimate Fight Night Decision (Split) 3 5:00 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
11–1 2005-04-09 Win Canada Jason Thacker The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale TKO (Punches) 1 1:35 United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US
10–1 2004-06-26 Win United States Benji Radach SF 4: Fight For Freedom TKO (Broken Jaw) 3 3:43 United States Gresham, Oregon, US Broken Jaw
9–1 2004-05-14 Loss Canada Joe Doerksen Freestyle Fighting Championships 9 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 United States Biloxi, Mississippi, US
9–0 2004-04-17 Win United States Justin Davis SF 3: Dome KO (Punches) 1 1:54 United States Gresham, Oregon, US
8–0 2004-01-16 Win United States Mike Swick WEC 9: Cold Blooded KO (Punch) 2 0:45 United States Lemoore, California, US Became First WEC Middleweight Champion
7–0 2003-11-13 Win United States James Fanshier Gladiator Challenge 20 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 United States Colusa, California, US
6–0 2003-10-17 Win United States Brian Sleeman WEC 8: Halloween Fury 2 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1 3:15 United States Lemoore, California, US
5–0 2003-08-23 Win United States Landon Showalter QP – Second Coming Decision (Split) 3 5:00 United States Gresham, Oregon, US
4–0 2003-03-08 Win United States John Hall FCFF: Rumble at the Roseland 6 TKO (Elbows and Punches) 2 5:00 United States Portland, Oregon, US
3–0 2002-12-14 Win United States Ben Birtcher FCFF: Rumble at the Roseland 5 TKO (Knees) 1 3:00 United States Portland, Oregon, US
2–0 2002-11-09 Win United States Bryce Hamilton UFCF: Fall Brawl Submission (Guillotine Choke) 1 2:45 United States Everett, Washington, US
1–0 2002-08-10 Win United States Justin Terherst FCFF: Rumble at the Roseland 4 Submission (Armbar) 1 2:30 United States Oregon, US

Notes and references

External links

New championship 1st WEC Middleweight Champion
January 16, 2004 - January, 2005
Title next held by
Joe Riggs

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