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Exclusive: Chris Leben Talks Fighting Bisping and the Judges at UFC 89 in England

Chris Leben’s first shot at Michael Bisping didn’t exactly go as planned. Soon after signing to fight “The Count” at UFC 85 in London, Leben was forced to return to Oregon to deal with an outstanding warrant resulting from a DUI arrest before he could leave the country. Though Leben and the UFC were hoping to resolve the matter quickly, the judge had other plans. Leben was sentenced to thirty-five days in jail, prompting the UFC to scratch him from the card.

With his legal troubles now behind him, Leben is getting a second chance at Bisping, this time at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England. In this exclusive CagePotato interview Leben discusses his maturation process as a fighter, his gameplan against Bisping, dealing with hometown judges, and more.

CagePotato.com: Hey Chris. Thanks for talking with me. We’re a few weeks out from the fight. How is your preparation coming?

Really good, really well. It’s been long and intense and I’m kind of just getting to the point now where I’m ready to go fight and get this thing over with.

It seems like things really changed for you when you moved to Hawaii. What has that move done for you?

You know, it’s great. Moving to Hawaii is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had the opportunity to be the head coach at Icon and there are a whole bunch of guys out here training with me who are just great. But besides the gym and the wonderful people out here you have the weather and everything that is Hawaii. It’s been really conducive to my training.

I hear a lot of people say you’re much more mature these days, no longer such a wild guy in and out of the cage. What do you think prompted that transformation?

Losing (laughs). You know, I got away with being a brawler for a long time. And it’s hard to change things when they’re working. But when I fought Anderson I realized, I might be able to beat 95% of the guys out there, but I’ll never be a world champion fighting this way. So I had to go back and change a lot of things. That was one part of it.

And the other part was, you know, coaching. Now that I have a team of amateur guys fighting, it’s hard to tell them to do something if you’re not doing it yourself.

You’re getting your second chance to take a fight against Bisping. Missing the first one and sitting in jail for a few weeks must have been really frustrating for you.

It was. It was a huge bummer. It was an opportunity for me to take some time out and put things in perspective. When I missed that fight and then I got out of jail and I remember watching the fight that I would have been in and that really lit a fire under me. I thought, ‘I can’t believe I missed this chance.’

And then when they gave me the opportunity to fight him again, it was that much more intense and it pushed me that much more to prepare. Every time I think about how I don’t want to train any more that day, I think about this chance and what an opportunity it is. You know, I could be in jail instead, so it’s definitely motivating.

What’s your plan against Bisping? How do you think you’re going to beat him?

In my eyes, the problem that Bisping has is he’s a well-rounded fighter. I think I’m a well-rounded fighter as well, I just think I’m a little better than he is. If he was a great striker or a great grappler then he might be able to look to beat me in some specific aspect. But the way he is I think I can go out and just fight and it doesn’t matter where it goes. On the feet or on the ground, I’m pretty much comfortable anywhere in the cage with Bisping.

However, if I had to tell you what his greatest attribute is, in this case I’d say it’s the judges. We all saw that fight with Matt Hamill. Now I’m fighting him in his hometown in England. It’s up to me to go out and finish the fight. I’ve got to push the pace. If he just tries to stick and move and run from me the whole time and squeeze out a victory, that’s something I have to watch out for because he can do that.

Is that really something you’re aware of going into this fight, that decision he got against Hamill?

Absolutley. I’m absolutely thinking about that. I can’t just go out there and beat him like I normally would. I can’t just say, ‘all right, I’m beating him here and beating him there,’ and be comfortable. I have to go out there and finish the fight in order to win. I have to.

I’ve heard you say that you think Bisping will look to land a lot of punches and you’ll just need to land one or two. Is that really how you see the fight going?

To some extent. You know, we’re just different style fighters, really. I don’t throw as many punches as him, but the ones that I do throw are a whole heck of a lot harder. I’ve been working on the technical aspect of my style for a while now, but no matter how long I work at it I’m never going to be the same kind of striker that Bisping is. I’m always going to throw fewer punches and harder punches.

Where do you think the winner of this fight will be in terms of the UFC’s middleweight division?

You never know what the UFC is going to do. You never can say what decision they’ll make, or what’s driving the decisions backstage. Definitely a win against Michael Bisping for catapults me up near that top ranking, and vice versa. We’re both kind of in the same spot and that’s what makes it an important fight for both of us.

Thanks, Chris. Anything else you’d like to add?

I just want to thank my fans for supporting me and say look forward to an exciting fight.

Comments

  1. kimbo stole my shoes Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 04:41


    Leben Rocks. war cat-smasher!
  2. MrFeexit Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 04:57


    Always liked Chris. Good luck against Bisping.
  3. Patrick Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 04:58


    Good interview, but Bisping will win.
  4. Tynomite Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 05:03


    Leben takes it, he's more then due.
  5. Jay Smith Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 05:09


    Bisping is a bitch, whether he beats Leben or not! Matt Hamill did win that fight between them so, Leben is right about the judges.
  6. rh Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 05:14


    he thinks he's well rounded? I like how he's already making excuses for losing a decision. Because anyone who doesn't brawl isn't cool. rh
  7. J Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 05:16


    "I didn't pee on his bed I just gave it a light spritz"
  8. MMAFan Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 05:16


    A double-knockout in this bout would suit me fine. Never liked either Bisping or Leben.
  9. Hebrew Hammerfist Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 05:16


    For a guy who was a whiney baby on TUF, he sure has made some strides in and out of the cage. It's refreshing to see guys mature like that and admit when they were pricks.
  10. ADW Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 06:15


    I hate Bisping but I believe that he is going to kick the shit out of Leben. Bisping may no hit as hard but his stand up is leagues ahead of Leben's I want leben to win because would love to see Bisping lose in England.
  11. Kim Couture is a cunt Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 06:21


    I hope he gives Bisping a beating
  12. RonaldMcDonald Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 06:32


    'I might be able to beat 95% of the guys out there..' Ya, sure Chucklehead. Good luck ever being able to beat 95% of the guys out there. I hate Bisbing, but I really want to see this fool get destroyed.
  13. BIG CHRIS Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 06:41


    "However, if I had to tell you what his greatest attribute is, in this case I’d say it’s the judges." Nice!!
  14. Dex Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 06:47


    Leben needs to get into a real camp with pros. I'm sure it's nice to make some cash running your own gym, but he can't be getting pushed the way he needs to from a bunch of amature guys. If you are the best guy in your gym, it's time to find a new gym. Either way, I'm stoked for this fight, I like both fighters and it's going to be exciting for sure.
  15. walrus Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 07:11


    This one could go either way, really. I'd say that the odds are on Bisping winning, but you can never count Leben out. I'm sure it'll be a great match. and btw, I hope Leben wins; he's a good guy, despite some of his past craziness. And for the record, DUI's aren't craziness -- I got one and the probation/supervisions the state makes you go through suck -- I may be jailed in not too long.
  16. walrus Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 07:12


    @ Dex That's a really good point on being the best fighter in your own gym.
  17. Justin Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 07:13


    Agree with Dex. Run a gym after you retire. Then again, maybe he's just getting settled and ready for the inevitable.....
  18. well Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 07:21


    don't know if you guys noticed this, but the match should be pretty sick because if leben is going for the finish.. we'll likely see some huge swings and aggressive fighting by him. and hopefully pull through and add this little bitch in his highlight reel
  19. Anonymous Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 08:06


    Bisping beat the deaf boy. Get over it assholes. I hope, and think, he'll beat Leben too (even though I quite like Leben).
  20. walrus Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 08:31


    @ Anonymous don't be an ignorant fool. everyone thinks Bisping lost against Hamil. Now you just come off as a foolish douchebag.
  21. evercleanse Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 08:32


    I have always liked leben....many do not..but I truly think he will take Bisping decisively!! Cant wait.
  22. walrus Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 08:32


    oh, and by the way, you're a fuckin idiot.
  23. Turdburglar Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 08:36


    ahhhhhh....,all this fight talk is seriously making my balls super wet.
  24. Earl Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 08:53


    Would be satisfying to see Bisping lose in merry ol' England. Might be a nifty hooligan riot if he does! Oy!
  25. walrus Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 08:54


    its a mma blog -- ain't nothin but fight talk I don't mean that in a derogatory way, I'm sorry :(.
  26. Bill C. Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 09:01


    I've developed a lot of respect for Leben recently. When he first started fighting for UFC, I was most definitely not a fan, but Leben's stepped up his performance in the Octagon, and he seems like he's matured a lot outside of the cage, as well. Should be an exciting fight.
  27. ufc fans mum is no sharon stone Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 09:15


    am sick of u americans saying leben gona smash bisping just because he is american.leben hits harder but he is gona get beat like a window licking lepor and thats the only reason u dont drop the hamil shit too i mean yr all like leben has really grown up when he is a totall spaker and bisping is like the devil cos some american judges gave him a bad decision and then he said go back to wrestling to yr american def fighter orr HANDS ACROSS THE WORLD want a tissue.bisping won the rashad fight in my opinion uno the guy who just ko yr beloved ice man i respect alot of american fighters but leben is a dick head. i like bisping he is exciting fighter that comes to fight he more entertaining than hamil or rashad and thats what its all about i hope he gets some respect after this but u will probly say that leben is shit yr self when he gets beat
  28. kimbo stole my shoes Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 09:49


    @ ufce fans mum is no sharon stone.............. you make morons sound like geniuses, and i mean that in the nicest way possible. i'll give you 6 dollars; buy some punctuation, a coherent thought, and a spell-check...... " i like have bisping take to some time respect tissue rashad punch decision american more oppinion dick head........." is all i could get outta that mess..... numb-skullery.....
  29. knoname Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 10:23


    I hope Leben Terry Martin's Bisping's ass!!
  30. Russell Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 11:01


    I'm glad bisping is going to get his ass handed to him 3 rounds in a row, but still win a decision!!!... I hate that fucking retard
  31. Anonymous Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 11:44


    Hahah you fucking brits are the ass end of a donkey aren't ya mate
  32. Anonymous Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 11:45


    'kimbo stole my shoes' fucking good one man lol that was too funny. Pretty much the same thing I was thinking, what a douche bag.
  33. funkdizzle Says:

    Sun, 09/28/08 - 11:49


    doesn't bj run his own gym? isn't he the best guy in his gym? workin out pretty good for him
  34. Anonymous Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 01:20


    Good to know he matured. I think after an ass whooping via Anderson Silva would make anyone see life differently hahaha. Basically in the octagon with the angel of death with a soft spoken voice
  35. John Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 01:36


    Everyone knows Hamill won that fight and Leben will make this one official!!!!!!
  36. MMA FAN Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 02:01


    The way leben has been training an how he has matured as a fighter and as a person makes me think if he has really improved as much as i think he has. In my head i dont see bisping winning cant wait
  37. Anonymous Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 03:08


    if you watch the chris leben training videos he clearly isnt the best in the gym he trains at (it is not his he is just head coach) id say the only thing hes good at is taking a damn good punch/ plus at his gym he gets taken town and subbed everyday but it is true that he needs to get into an all pros gym like the pit or ATT
  38. Doink the clown Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 04:10


    shut the fuck up Sharon Stone Faggot poofter. You don't no shit about mma, go back and fuck your mother and your brother you inbred fuck. I bet you're 15 years old 5 feet 2 inches and 105 pounds soakin wet. Fuckin pussy.
  39. chefdaddy Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 10:40


    To "ufc fans mum is no sharon stone": While it was difficult to decipher your post, I think I managed. americans do NOT only like american fighters. Ridiculous sentiment at best. And it would'nt explain the popularity of Silva (both Spider and Axe Murderer, Fedor, GSP etc.) We don't like how he is being spoon fed fighters to hype the UFC brand in England. He is talented, that's for sure, but a great deal of people seem to think he's Christ's second coming. Leben will be his first true test that can either prove or disprove the hype. Leben's one of my faves, he's certainly not top tier, but he is certainly one tough bastard. We don't hate him cuz he's British, rather I think you like him BECAUSE he's british. Would you be such a big fan if he was French? lol
  40. VEe! Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 01:36


    I think the whole "I'll just need to punch him once or twice" or "I’m always going to throw fewer punches and harder punches." - James Irvin, Patrick Cote, and Chris Leben. I REALLY DON'T THINK THIS IS A GREAT STRATEGY!!! Will Leben and Cote prevail with this strategy?? I don't know but Travis Lutter recently said that Anderson will murder Cote. And I think some one needs to tell Leben that Bisping probably hits really hard. I'm just glad that he's no longer being coddled by the UFC.
  41. doink the clowns gran goooooood fuck Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 01:50


    not if he was french but yes if he was from the states i would like him or anywere else.loads of american fans talk shit about fedor and how could anyone not like gsp as 4 silva u carnt talk shit about him since he batterd every yank he has faced some of my best fighters are american and i always support them.but also non of these fighters have won a dodgy decision over a def american in there home country.and i do no my mma i no bisping has not faced anyone great but he dont pick his fights and he dont make decisions. there r no easy fights left for bisping and u cheffdady might not hate him cos he is english but u carnt speak 4 the rest of these people and clown guy why would i do my mother and brother when i just spafed all over yr grans face while yr 10 yr old sister sucked my testis.and chefdady would u like bisping if he beat leben excuse my typing i spent my childhood geting hi and licking alot of cunt when i should have been behind a computer i did not no what i was missing out on
  42. UFC fan Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 02:34


    You guys actually deciphered that UK retards shit type? Man you'll are good! I cannot ever understand a word hes typing, its all bad teeth, and anal-rape talk....I am sure he is trying hard to insult you, me, everyone, but he can't type worth a fuck so I generally ignore it, skip over it....wipe my ass with it, you know. As for Bispenis he is a perfect example of what a faggot like UK boy likes, hes useless, he talks to much, and has NO skills. I don't like Leben, but I do hope he knocks some sense into pisspenis. hey UK puke, I do believe doink has you pegged. p.s watch the litte blowhard explode and froth now :)
  43. doink the clowns gran goooood fuck Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 03:00


    also bisping dont have ko power but he is very hard to finish rashad just kod chuck but could not finish bisping.how do u lads think leben would peform if he had to fight rashad or hamil and there is no wrestling in the uk so bisping should hav never been in the lightheavy weight.can u remember when kos lied on leben the whole fight and he called him a blanket.leben is gona get picked apart then taken down i dont think that bisping can knock leben out but he will tko him late 2nd round.
  44. doink the clowns grans goooooood fuck Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 03:36


    ufc fan yr the one who said fedor is shit cro cop is an epic fail and randy is shit. blow clowns sweetcorn off yr maget dick and go look for yr mums dead carcus u smelly paki.before i take 10 Es and but fuck yr epileptic gran asshole then take her false teeth out so when she having a fit she dont bite my massive cock just choke on the bastard instead then take her pension and spend it on beer then get pissed and come back for more mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm then sell her to a gang of pakis
  45. rofl Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 03:48


    UK people are so funny.
  46. doink the clowns grans goooooood fuck Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 04:18


    its even funnier if yr there mate trust me his gran was not laughing tho then again i threw here teeth over by her zimmer frame and she was choking on my sack
  47. doink the clowns grans goooooood fuck Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 04:35


    oh and i looooooooooooovvved fucking that silly old trolop 2 she is a proper gilf no cob webs at all tho she did shit in her incontinence knickers when i kicked her door off its hinges an sreamed its better to burn out than to fade away u old slag the look on her face priceless
  48. ufc fans gran Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 05:20


    HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
  49. ufc fans gran goooooooooood fuck Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 05:29


    cumon u old twat in the wheel barow position NOW
  50. UFC fan Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 06:46


    You remind me of the story of the little mouse who fucked an elephant..... One day this mouse said "mrs elephant , I am going to fuck you! She looked at him, and laughed and said sure go ahead. so he jumps on and starts fucking, meanwhile mrs elephant forgets all about the tiny nothing mouse, forgets hes even there, and shes walking along and hits her head on a tree. OUCH, she says, that hurts! The mouse roars, YEAH TAKE IT YOU BITCH< YEAH! YOU FELL THAT! SCREAM MY NAME!" Thats what uk fucks who cant type remind of , insignificant, small dicked, and useless. your biggest thrill is that you got noticed at all. stupid ass redcoat :)
  51. ufc fans mum is somewere in those bushes Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 08:37


    u split my side yr so funny now i think all mash yr gran again then stop by peasant cresant and dump the smelly munta outside yr shithole house.i like yr story who the elephant yr fat twat mum tell me another i need some material for bed time stories.normally i twat yr mums head on the tree then fuck her ha ha ha ha ha but she dont scream nothing she just lifeless but as long as am enjoying it who gives a shit
  52. the cop that found ufc fans mum Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 09:22


    jesus poke it with a stick looks like a dead racoon covered in seamen GOD DARN IT its a women a fuck ugly women damn she is ugly i aint even reporting this shit carnt c anyone missing this peice of shit throw some leafs over that nasty fuck lets get down the diner bob am hungry no one gona miss her anyway she looks like a god darn paki and smells like a sack fula assholes al be waiting in the car
  53. ufc fans mum is no sharon stone Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 09:26


    am sorry ufc fan mother is the name for god on the lips and harts of all children but she was fuck ugly
  54. Doink the clown Says:

    Mon, 09/29/08 - 10:46


    Correction, you weren't licking cunt growing up, you were sucking cock, right along side your idol George Micheal.
  55. UFC fan Says:

    Tue, 09/30/08 - 01:15


    I believe this is the guy who George was hand jobbing in the mens room when he was caught. As I recall even George couldn't understand the "blimey fuckwit" as he called him. After further questions of why he had done this, Micheals responded: "he talks stupid as bullocks he does, but man can that toothless UK boy suck a mean cock!"
  56. doink clowns mum is a paki lepor Says:

    Tue, 09/30/08 - 01:18


    george michael might suck cock but he has had way more fanny than u and yr idol michael jackson just keep drinking the jesus juice u little mincer
  57. doink clowns mum is a paki lepor Says:

    Tue, 09/30/08 - 01:25


    ufc fan u no alot about george michael and u said u recall george said.were did u guys meet
  58. Doink the clown Says:

    Tue, 09/30/08 - 03:02


    Sharon Stone Weirdo wants to suck George Micheals dick. Fucking Faggot .
  59. doink the clowns mum eats nigger dick Says:

    Tue, 09/30/08 - 03:46


    iis that the best u can do ha ha ha ha ha ha i might want to suck him but that doesn't change the fact that u have sucked him
  60. UFC fan Says:

    Tue, 09/30/08 - 07:28


    did you see that? This fag admits to wanting to suck George Micheal's dick! From now on you shall be called uk fag sucker, hahaha, whatta loser.
  61. ufc fans mum is a crippled paki with aids Says:

    Tue, 09/30/08 - 11:05


    then am gona rape u and ufc fan then film it then send the tape to yr gran parents that r dying of cancer make the old bastards flat line then piss on your mums face after i boffed on it
  62. Doink the clown Says:

    Tue, 09/30/08 - 11:50


    UK weirdo admits hes a cock smoker. Nice work bum pirate. Quit talking about raping man. Go back to your raping guys asses and don't blab about it. You almost sound proud of it faggot.
  63. doink the clown sister skweal like captured rabbit Says:

    Wed, 10/01/08 - 12:24


    u have laim sense of humor now am gona beat yr crippled gran with her walking stick nowere in my post do i say i hav sucked cock but yr 9 yr old sisters asshole is getting drilled as we speak
  64. ajaykumar Says:

    Wed, 09/21/11 - 10:52


    Bisping is a bitch, whether he beats Leben or not! Matt Hamill did win that fight between them so, Leben is right about the judges. Mechanical Engineering Notes
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