From the moment he graced television screens in the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005, to his final UFC bout last year at UFC 168, Chris Leben always stood out as one of the most colorful characters in the sport.
On Sunday, Leben appeared on Submission Radio to share some of the stories of his wild fighting life.
An example was his bout with Brian Stann:
“I got blackout drunk the day before weigh-ins. I went back into the Hard Rock, and for some reason something upset me, so I was in the bathroom stall, the back bathroom stall; and I kicked my way all the way to the exit by kicking the stall walls down. They were like marble stall walls, so I just decided to kick all the stall walls down to the exit, and — big surprise — I got arrested.”
Leben, as he tells the story, was handcuffed — but bribed his way to freedom.
“Before his reinforcements came I gave him $500 bucks and he let me run up to my room,” he said. “My phone’s ringing off like crazy and wake up in a pile of puke and I’m late for my photo shoot for the UFC… I thought it was 8 in the morning, but it was actually noon.”
Somehow Leben’s career continued — all told, his UFC career spanned twenty two bouts (the most in UFC middleweight division history). But asked to recall his toughest victory, Leben’s answer came from his early days fighting in the Pacific Northwest:
“It was against a guy named Otto Olson. He was a home town hero, he actually took second in Abu Dhabi and in wrestling the only person he lost to in his senior year was Josh Koscheck, believe it or not… you can watch it on Youtube, man, that guy kicks the f—in’ shit out of me for the first three minutes of the round, and then he puts me in this super crazy guillotine that he gets everyone in. The crowd is going crazy.”
“They’ve been like pumping drinks in the crowd, it’s well after midnight,” Leben continued. “The crowd’s like back out drunk, home town hero. So anyways he gets me in this guillotine and you see me raise my hand to tap. The referee’s on the other side of the hand I raised, and then I end up going unconscious, so you see my hand just falls limp and I’m completely passed out. Well, he tries to re-adjust because for some reason I’m not tapping — he doesn’t know I’m f—ing sleeping! I actually had a little dream during the fight — it’s really trippy.”
“Next thing I know, I pop my head out and just doing the drunken stumble backwards,” he continued. “He pops up and he comes after me like he’s ready to finish me I’m done, and as I’m walking backwards he goes to shoot in and I just take like a drunken swing, and BOOM, out f—ing cold man.”
“We actually had to sneak out of the backdoor on that one… you just see beer cans and shit flying at me man. They were pissed.”
Watch the entire interview here: