Ultimate Fighter Season 1 alum Chris Leben is coming out of retirement.
Leben has agreed to a contract with Bellator MMA pending the passing of his physicals, Bellator president Scott Coker reported on Friday night’s episode of “Inside MMA.”
The 35-year-old from Portland started his professional career in 2002 and was the first-ever WEC middleweight champion. He announced his decision to step away from competing in 2013 after a fourth consecutive defeat.
But, the fire has returned for “The Crippler,” who is 22-11 overall in his career. He holds wins over the likes of Wanderiel Silva, Aaron Simpson and Patrick Cote, having also shared the cage with Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping and Brian Stann.
“He’s got some physicals to pass,” Coker said. “Pending (that), he’ll be a Bellator fighter.”
Earlier this week, Bellator signed Benson Henderson and Sergei Kharitonov to the active roster. Coker, who previously directed Strikeforce, stated his plans for the promotion.
“We’re looking for the best free agents that make the most sense,” he said. “We have a great roster in place. We’re building fighters from the ground up and when the free agents we want are available, we’ll go after them.”
Hear the complete interview with Coker in the video below: