MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Chris Leben

All UFC 162 Drug Tests Come Back Negative (Yes, Even Chris Leben’s)


(“Hey man, I got these cheeseburg-OOF!”. Photo via Getty.)

Bad news, Anderson Silva conspiracy theorists; the drug test results for UFC 162 came in earlier today, and no, Silva did not test positive for a combination of ecstasy, Ambien and Zytiga as speculated. Nor, for that matter, did newly-crowned middleweight champion Chris Weidman get popped with enough steroids coursing through his urine to give a gorilla glaucoma. Looks like “Nike did it” is now your only option left.

In fact, every single fighter who competed at UFC 162 managed to come out clean on the other side, even Chris Leben, who received a Suboxone TUE (a first for the UFC. Can someone say TRAILBLAZER?) before suffering a unanimous decision loss to Andrew Craig on the evening’s FX portion of the prelims.

This is normally where I’d try to end the article on some whimsical note to take you into the weekend, but I’ve got nothing. Here’s the rec room scene from Tremors instead. Good evening.

-J. Jones

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BREAKING: Brian Stann Retires From MMA, Cites Potential Health Risks and New Daughter Among Reasons for Departure


(*Another* new castmember? This show has officially jumped the shark.) 

Wow.

When it was announced earlier today that Ariel Helwani would be hosting a special edition of The MMA Hour in which “a former champion, and one of the most popular names in the sport, will make a special announcement,” speculation began to light up the interwebs like it was a Simi Valley fireworks show. Was Brock Lesnar announcing his return to the sport? Was Bellator dumb enough to actually buy into Tito Ortiz’s “almost healthy” bait-n-switch? WAS ANDERSON SILVA ABOUT TO RETIRE?!

Simply put; no (thank God), not yet, and are you fucking kidding me? It turns out that the “former champion” is question was actually former WEC light heavyweight champ Brian Stann, who shockingly announced his retirement from the sport following his second round KO loss to Wanderlei Silva at UFC on FUEL 8 last March. Citing a new daughter on the way (his third) as well as a concern for long term injuries related to not only his MMA career but his military career and previous football experience among his reasons for calling it quits, Stann was typically composed and grateful, ensuring Helwani that “I leave fighting having taken more from mixed martial arts than I ever gave.”

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Chris Leben Granted Pain Killer TUE at UFC 162


(Photo via Getty Images)

Well, this is interesting. The Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t grant any new therapeutic use exemptions (TUE’s) to fighters for last Saturday’s UFC 162 event but they did grant the first ever TUE for prescription opioid Suboxone to Chris Leben.

The middleweight lost a split decision to Andrew Craig at UFC 162. He has been winning an even more important battle for sobriety, however.

MMA Junkie has been following the story. “The veteran fighter’s exemption offers proof of his efforts to get clean following a well-documented struggle with drugs. In November 2011, he tested positive for oxycodone and oxymorphone following a loss to Mark Munoz at UFC 138 and was suspended by the UFC for one year. It was the second time the promotion benched him following a positive test for the synthetic anabolic stanozolol in October 2008,” they wrote.

Leben has been to rehab and says he’s been sober for fifteen months. Addiction to pain killers is one of the least-talked about pandemics in MMA so Leben deserves credit for making his struggle public.

The NSAC also deserves credit for recognizing when certain controlled substances should be allowed for use by athletes. Better that Leben take a strong opiod under a doctor’s care while during the training and fighting that causes his body pain, than he self-medicate unbeknownst to anyone.

As for his active MMA career, Leben has now lost three fights in a row, and four out of his last five. He is only thirty two years old but has been fighting professionally for eleven years and that takes a toll on the body and mind.

For his part, Dana White told reporters after UFC 162 that he is concerned for Leben, unsure if the TUF 1 veteran will be kept on in the UFC as a fighter but also seem to express a desire to help Leben stay productive and make a living. ”Chris Leben has the type of personality that can go off the deep very easily in a lot of negative ways. I really care about the kid,” White said.

“I like him a lot. I love him. So I’ve got to figure this thing out.”

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman — FX Prelims Results & Commentary


(“Wait a minute…I’m fighting the friggin’ Gevalia Coffee guy?” / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

Before the UFC 162 pay-per-view card kicks off, how ’bout we warm up with some fights on free TV? Tonight’s FX Prelims broadcast features a crowd-pleasing lineup of sluggers, including Chris Leben, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Edson Barboza, and the first post-TUF Smashes appearance of Norman Parke.

Handling liveblog duties for this leg of the “Silva vs. Weidman” fight card is none other than Matt Saccaro, who will be stacking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please toss your own analysis and witticisms into the comments section. Thanks for being here.

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Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira, Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver Booked for UFC 162


(Make no mistake — when Edgar’s at his best, he’s capable of losing a close decision to any fighter in the world. Photo via Getty Images)

UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman is turning out to be a can’t-miss showcase for featherweight talent. With Ricardo Lamas vs. Chan Sung Jung already on the lineup, the UFC has just added two more big-name 145-pound scraps to the July 6th card in Las Vegas…

- Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira: Following his unsuccessful title challenge against Jose Aldo — which gave Edgar his third decision loss in a row — “The Answer” returns to the featherweight division to face dangerous grappler Charles Oliveira. Though Oliveira hasn’t competed since his knockout loss to Cub Swanson at UFC 152, his two previous fights resulted in submission victories over Jonathan Brookins and Eric Wisely. It’s a logical rebound fight for Edgar, and a huge opportunity for Oliveira.

- Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver: Speaking of Swanson, the Jackson’s MMA product is red-hot lately, with four straight victories in the UFC (three by KO/TKO). Fresh off his recent decision win over Dustin Poirier, Swanson will try to add to his streak against the hard-striking Dennis Siver, who is 2-0 since dropping to featherweight, with decision wins over Diego Nunes and Nam Phan.

In other notable UFC 162 news…

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UFC 155 Aftermath: Bloodbaths & Guts


Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

By Elias Cepeda

With a somewhat forgettable year thankfully coming to an end, UFC 155 looked to excite fans, promote contenders and get everybody ready for a new year. This card did exactly that. Not to reach into our bag of clichés so early into the aftermath, but UFC 155 really sent 2012 out with a bang, and set the bar high for upcoming cards in 2013.

With as many solid fights as took place Saturday in Las Vegas at UFC 155, Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon’s three round battle was recognized by the UFC brass as the Fight of The Night and each man earned an extra $65,000 for their effort. The lightweight contenders should also be in consideration for Fight of The Year lists everywhere.

If it is, Lauzon will be competing with himself for his incredible fight last August against Jamie Varner. JLau may have lost the decision against Miller on the judge’s score cards, two rounds to one, but deserves credit for coming back from being bullied, beaten and bloodied badly in the first round by Miller in the first round and finishing stronger in the final two rounds.

On the strength of his aggressiveness and multiple submission attempts to close out the second and third rounds, this writer believes that a very reasonable judge could have scored the bout Lauzon’s way instead of Miller’s. As it stands, both men were impressive in their own ways and, *reaches back into the bag of applicable clichés* there simply were no “losers” in this one.

Miller has always shown excellent boxing skills but he may have been sharper than ever before against Lauzon in the first and second rounds, scoring almost at will with shots to the body and head, as well as knocking Joe down repeatedly with a nasty inside leg kick. His dirty boxing from the clinch was masterful, using punches, knees and elbows to hurt and cut open Lauzon over and again.

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UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II — Main Card Results & Commentary


(What a crazy year it’s been. Just think, four weeks ago that bald guy in the middle was actually homeless. / Photo courtesy of Esther Lin’s UFC 155 weigh-in set on MMAFighting.com)

UFC 155 might not be as epic as some of the UFC’s previous end-of-year cards (you can blame the injury curse for that), but any time the Heavyweight Championship of the World is at stake, it’s must-see TV.

Tonight, defending champ Junior Dos Santos will try to keep the train a-rollin’ in a rematch with his old pal Cain Velasquez. Meanwhile in the co-main event, lightweights Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller will gobble up as many performance bonuses as they can get their little hands on. Plus, six middleweight contenders — including Tim Boetsch, Alan Belcher, and Chris Leben — will swing their ham-hock fists at each other, in the hopes that the most popular kid in school might notice them. Lotsa luck, ladies.

Running our final liveblog of the year (!) will be none other than Elias Cepeda, who will be updating you with round-by-round results after the jump starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your New Year’s resolutions in the comments section.

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Cody McKenzie, Karlos Vemola Out of UFC 155 With Injuries; Leonard Garcia and Chris Leben Get New Opponents [UPDATED]


(“Aw thanks bro, these chips are so clutch. Say, you’re not an undercover cop, are you?”/ Props: CombatLifestyle)

Already smacked down by injuries to Forrest Griffin, Chris Weidman, and Gray Maynard, December 29th’s once-epic UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 card just got hit with another pair of withdrawals, less than two weeks before showtime.

First up: Cody McKenzie, the affable guillotine-choker who got gut-shot KO’d by Chad Mendes in his last appearance in July, has pulled out of his preliminary card bout with Leonard Garcia due to an undisclosed training injury. The UFC is currently searching for a replacement opponent for Garcia, who is looking to rescue his career after losing his last three matches. We’ll update you if/when Bad Boy gets a new booking. Update: Garcia will be fighting Max Holloway, who has won his last two fights against Pat Schilling and Justin Lawrence.

Speaking of undisclosed injuries, Czech wrestler Karlos Vemola is out of his main card match against Chris Leben, and will be replaced by Strikeforce vet Derek Brunson. After winning his first nine pro fights, Brunson has dropped his last two, a knockout loss to Ronaldo Souza and a decision loss to Kendall Grove. Leben vs. Brunson will remain on the UFC 155 main card, and will mark Leben’s first UFC appearance since his TKO loss to Mark Munoz in November 2011, and subsequent one-year suspension for oxycodone and oxymorphone. The Crippler is currently taking it one day at a time.

UFC 155′s bruised lineup is after the jump. Check it out, and ponder what could have been…

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CagePotato Roundtable #18: Who’s Your Favorite TUF Cast-Member of All Time?


(Seriously? Not even *one* vote for Jason Guida?)

The 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter kicks off tonight on FX, and while we wouldn’t exactly say we’re looking forward to it, the premiere of a new season always puts us in a reflective mood. In this week’s installment of the CagePotato Roundtable, we’ll be paying tribute to our favorite cast-members in TUF history, and joining us today is a very, very special guest — Luke O’Brien, an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Fortune, and many other outlets that are much more respectable than the one you’re reading right now. (I first discovered Luke through his excellent MMA reporting for Deadspin.)

Shoot us your own favorite TUF guys in the comments section, and if you have a topic for a future Roundtable column, e-mail us at tips@cagepotato.com

Luke O’Brien

Has there been a more unlikely TUF champion than Amir Sadollah? In 2008, the Persian-Irish surgical technologist came out of nowhere — or in his case, Richmond — to win the seventh season of the show by beating All-American wrestler C.B. Dollaway. Sadollah armbarred Dollaway not once, but twice. Before that, he triangled Matt Brown, who oozed tough. And before that, he TKOd Gerald Harris, who certainly looked tough. At the time, Sadollah had never had a pro fight. Not one. I liked him immediately. Not because he was an upstart, a little doughy around the middle and a bit of a lumberer. There were purer reasons that drew me to a fighter who walks out to Iranian techno music.

For one, he had a mullet. This wasn’t the unaware bumpkin coiffure found in many stretches of this country. Rather, it was a curated flange of keratin that complemented the smirk often playing on Sadollah’s face. It was a mullet that, like its owner, didn’t take itself too seriously. A mullet that grasped irony. And irony has always been in short supply on TUF. The premise of the show — quarantine 16 fighters for a month in a house stocked with unlimited amounts of booze and see what happens — is absurd, although I guess you could say the same about all reality television. As much as I enjoy TUF, the only way I can fully appreciate it is at a sardonic remove. Sadollah allowed me to do that.

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Chris Leben to Return From Painkiller Suspension at UFC 155 Against Karlos Vemola


(“Yeah, training’s going well, I feel like I’m in killer shape right now and…whoa. Is your cameraman masturbating?”)

With his one-year suspension for prescription painkillers coming to an end in November, Chris Leben already has his return fight booked. The UFC has confirmed that Leben will face Czech wrestler Karlos Vemola at UFC 155, the stacked end-of-year card scheduled for December 29th in Las Vegas.

Vemola has compiled a less-than-stellar 2-3 record in the UFC over three weight classes, and was most recently choked out by Francis Carmont in July. Leben, who was suspended following his TKO loss to Mark Munoz at UFC 138, hasn’t won a match since his 27-second bar fight with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132.

That fact that Leben is immediately returning to action after his suspension — and against a beatable rebound opponent — suggests that the UFC still has a fondness for him. But considering that this wasn’t Leben’s first time-out for unapproved substances, it might be his last chance to straighten up and fly right. Good luck, Cat Smasher.

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