(‘Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.’)
When word spread this morning that Chris Leben was locked up in Oregon just a few days after being signed to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 85 in London, we all feared the worst. That fight card has already suffered more than its share of setbacks, and as anyone who watched him on “The Ultimate Fighter” or YouTube knows, Chris Leben is known to enjoy an alcoholic beverage from time to time.
But don’t worry, he’s only in jail temporarily while he sorts out some legal issues stemming from past alcohol-related mischief. Icon promoter T. Jay Thompson clears things up for us:
Chris Leben was not arrested this week for DUI.
When Chris moved to Hawaii he was in the process of completing classes for his probation on an old DUI in Portland Oregon. We worked hard to get his probation transferred to Hawaii but were unsuccessful.
When he got the call to fight Bisping on June 7th in London he knew what he had to do.
He immediately flew to Oregon and turned himself in on the probation violation. The warrant was a “no bail” warrant so he will have to sit in jail for 8-10 days before he gets a hearing. The moment he appeared before the judge after turning himself in the warrant was revoked and he is able to get his VISA for London.
Chris is in excellent shape and will finish his training camp with the help of Matt Hume.
Chris has worked hard the past year to grow both physically, mentally and spiritually. The actions he took to make this fight happen in London show this growth. Chris would like everyone to know he accepts responsibility for his past actions and will face the consequences and continue forward on his journey.
That’s a relief. Losing the Leben-Bisping match would have been a major blow to UFC 85. Crisis averted…for now.