It’s official, this past week Chris “The Crippler” Leben retired from the sport of mma. Leben complied a record of 12-10 in 22 fights for the UFC and was on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
Leben has done a lot for the sport and has been involved in some wild moments. Let’s talk about the top 5 things Chris Leben will be most remembered for.
5. Wet dreams-
The first season of TUF is still hands down the best season. Mainly due to the crazy/outspoken cast members, and of course the season finale. This was the first of it’s kind, and fighters like Chris Leben set the tone for future rebels like Julian Lane (“I wanna bang bro”) and Junie Browning.
This was like Real World meets intense testosterone. In the first episode, Leben got heavily drunk and urinated on future teammate Jason Thacker‘s bed, and stole his pillow. Leben was a wild child on the show. This wasn’t even the craziest thing he did, but when you urinate on someone’s bed, it needs to be mentioned.
4. The Champ is here-
Before Leben was peeing on beds on TUF, he was dominating at 185 lbs. and winning inaugural titles. If you watched TUF season 1, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about as he wouldn’t let another certain cast member forget about it.
Leben defeated fellow TUF 1 cast member Mike “Quick” Swick in 2004 at WEC 9 via knockout to become the WEC’s first ever middleweight champion. The WEC still holds dear to some (including myself), and you can bet being the first champion is still something he prides himself on.
3. I got this little button-
Leben entered the UFC with heavy hands and no style. He was just in there to take everything you had and then return the favor. One of his wildest fights was with Terry Martin. Both guys didn’t have much style but could KO almost anybody. Leben had previously battled guys like Patrick Cote who could take a punch, but Martin’s chin and punching power was on another level.
Both guys battled it out on their feet until the third round where it seemed that Martin was winning the fight. Martin rocked Leben multiple times during the fight and almost had him beat a few times. He caught Leben on the chin in the third round and stumbled “The Crippler” before being knocked out himself.
Leben claimed at the end of the fight that he has this little button on his nose that informs him when someone is close, and when that happens he swings away. I will never forget this, it sounded like something a drunk person would say after a bar fight.
In this case, it worked. Martin rocked Leben, and he was pretty much knocked out on his feet. Martin charged in, Leben threw everything he had left and knocked Martin out in stylish fashion. Martin went face first into the canvas. Crazy highlights from this fight and Leben’s best comeback in my opinion.
2.The “Crippler” gets crippled-
By 2006 at UFC Fight Night 5, it was time to see what Leben could do against tough competition. Leben’s record was 15-1 and he was on a 6 fight winning streak (5 in the UFC) with wins over Luigi Fioravanti, Patrick Cote, Edwin Dewees, Jorge Rivera, Benji Radach, and Jason Thacker.
He was known at that time for being very durable and having heavy hands. He was very well-known, especially from TUF season 1. His only loss at that time was via unanimous decision 2 years prior. He was known for not being able to be finished.
Then he squared off against Anderson Silva. At that time, Silva was known to some but not many. Silva made his name off Leben’s face. Leben literally had no offense. Silva picked him apart with punches, kicks, and muay thai knees. Silva defeated Leben in 49 seconds of the first round via KO. Dana White was stunned, and Silva’s UFC legacy was born.
1. His last hoorah pays dividends-
Leben retired on a 4 fight losing streak. He was also suspended 9 months after the Michael Bisping loss. Leben had a wild up and down career, but his last win will always take the cake. If there was a guy that had all Leben’s attributes of a tough chin with a reckless style, it was Wanderlei Silva.
Leben always admired Silva and wanted to test his skills against one of the all-time best in the sport. After a tough back-and-forth fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama and knock out loss to Brian Stann, Leben got his dream fight. This was a highly anticipated fight for knock out fanatics.
This fight was short lived and Leben’s last win. Both fighters came to bang and the fight started at a fast pace. Leben knocked out Silva with consecutive uppercuts from the clinch, 27 seconds into the fight, resulting in the fastest knockout win in Leben’s career. His last hoorah was still his best finish in his career. Not a bad last win.