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Chris Leben: The CagePotato Retrospective Interview

UFC Fight Night 5, 6/28/06
Result: Silva wins via first-round knockout

On his infamous pre-fight promo (see above): “Here’s the deal: When you sit down with the UFC and give them a pre-fight interview, what are you supposed to say? I’m not going to say they tell you what to say [during the interviews], but it’s certainly coached, and they want you to be a tough guy. So I couldn’t say, ‘Hey I didn’t want to take this fight, I didn’t think I was ready for it, but I’m taking it anyway because the UFC told me I had to.’

I asked not to take the fight. I thought it was a bad idea, plain and simple. My coach at the time said, ‘You know, Chris, I’d have you fight anybody in the UFC right now except for this fight. I don’t think you should take it for your style and the matchup.’ I believe that I’m a different fighter now, and I’d love to have a chance to fight Anderson Silva five years later, because I’ve grown substantially as a martial artist.

I truly believe that everything more or less happens for a reason, and I wasn’t ready at that time. I was not ready to be world champion, I was not ready to carry that burden outside of the cage. My skills were not where they needed to be. Since then, my career’s allowed me to grow, it’s allowed me to move to Hawaii, and a lot of things have happened to me that would not have happened if things would have worked out differently. Who knows, I probably would have been a champion then lost two fights in a row and gotten kicked out of the UFC. But I’ve managed to hang around for another five years.”

UFC Fight Night 11, 9/19/07
Result: Leben wins via third-round knockout

“I definitely react a little different than other people when I get hit. I know I’m tough and I know what I do. Obviously at that point there’s not a lot of calibrated thinking going on. A lot of that is just who you are as a person, your personality, everything that has made you who into you are at that moment, and how you’re going to react in the cage. In my case it’s worked for the better sometimes, and at other times — I’ve always said it myself — it’s worked for the worse.”

UFC 89, 10/18/08
Result: Bisping wins via unanimous decision

On the probation violation that delayed the fight, and the failed drug test that came after: ”You’re fucking killing me man. Why don’t we talk about my next fight? I don’t dig this shit. That was so many years ago, and people continue to want to ask me about this. I fucked up, I made a mistake, I’m sorry, fucking bury it. Thank you. There’s a lot of personal decisions that have happened in my life, and it can be tough sometimes because that’s what everybody wants to talk about. Going to jail was not a fun thing, and it’s not really something I want to talk about in an interview I’m doing to promote myself. It’s alright. It’s alright. I didn’t mean to snap at you, I’m sorry.”

On the next page: Smashing a hero and facing the future.

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Cagepotato Comments

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mustache revival- October 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm
I don't consider myself a "fan" of any particular fighter, but I met Leben at Mr. Luckys in the Hard Rock after his fight with Aaron Simpson. It was about 2 in the morning, he was with a women I assume was his mom, and he was smoking and drinking Miller Lite, so he instantly became my favorite fighter.
Wiccyg- October 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm
Anyon know where I can can find a UFC sex service for women? I found plenty for men, but I'm looking for one tailored to women's needs. PS - Leben is a berserker. Love the dude.
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Nut Puncher 9000- October 18, 2011 at 2:51 am
Its a big mental shift when you start to worry about your legacy.
XENOPHON- October 17, 2011 at 11:26 pm
Good read...Leben is a straight shooter...and seems like he knows he got one if not two more chances at grabbing that belt before he decides to hang it up....looking forward is smart, being realistic is even smarter.
Todd M- October 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm
^ Yeah Leben allways pulls the best quotes, like the other one in the vid above too. Chris Leben should have his picture in the dictionary beside the word FIGHTER, the dude always brings it, is constantly improving and has been in some of the best fights in the history of MMA. Good Luck in the Munoz fight, Cage Potato will be rooting for you Catsmasher.
MrBlondeSL- October 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm
"I know I'm ready to commit violence on a dangerous level right now" fucking epic!
macreadysshack- October 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm
Leben's a great guy. Bought me a drink. Fun to hang out with - doesn't take himself too seriously. Still growing as a human being and I hope he doesn't stop.
All the best, Leben. You'll always be the Catsmasher to me.
macreadysshack- October 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm
Goddamn. Nothing personal against Matt Lindland; for better or for worse, the guy is a natural born fighter, no doubt about it.
But . . . that motherf***er was born with the most unfortunate face/body that I've ever seen on a person who doesn't qualify as being 'Special Needs'.
I think that level of ugly should be qualified as a disability by the Federal Gov't. He should be getting a check every month just to have to get up every morning and look in the mirror.
Kaboom82- October 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm
his dudeness- October 17, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Leben is the man. Puts on great fights, speaks from the heart, he ain't perfect, he fights with emotion and puts on great fights win or lose.

I love watching Leben's fights, hope he has a few more gems for us and wish him nothing but the best.
RSparrow- October 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm
My buddy tried to pull the water prank on me when we were all shitfaced camping, and I've never seen someone's eye swell up so fast in my life. Leben you were walking the wrong way.
glassjawsh- October 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm
hahahahahaha matt fucking lindland looks like one of those elderly folks wandering aimlessly around a parking lot trying to remember where he parked his car.

even though he took the bus