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Iconic Album Covers Replaced With Sloths

Tag: ICON

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.

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Chris Leben Mini-Series, Volume Three


Chris Leben: Evolution of an Icon – Watch more free videos

Here’s the third installment of the Icon Sport series “Chris Leben: Evolution of an Icon.” When this started, we were among those impressed by the production value (for the internet, anyway) and pleased by the general concept of this web series. But now that we’ve hit episode three, it’s starting to feel a little too much like a Chris Leben infomercial. Maybe it’s the strength coach going starry-eyed over him or his girlfriend talking up his dedication, but when everyone is so unrelentingly positive it becomes hard to digest.

I guess I just thought/hoped this would be more of an inside look and less of an extended hypefest. Now that I’ve typed that sentence, I realize how stupid it sounds.

As an added bonus, check out the trailer for the straight-to-DVD Randy Couture joint, “Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior” after the jump. Is there really a point in the film where some weirdo magic blood is dripped onto Couture’s head, presumably granting him special powers? Really? Then consider it Netflix’d.

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Lawler Stripped of ICON Belt; Phil Baroni to Fight for Middleweight Title

BarHos
(Phil Baroni and Kala Kolohe Hose.)

Yesterday, we reported that middleweight free-agent Phil Baroni had signed a multi-year contract with EliteXC after weighing offers from six different organizations. It now looks like an immediate title-shot could have been a major factor in Baroni’s decision. ICON Sport — the prestigious Hawaii-based MMA organization owned by Pro Elite — announced that it has stripped Robbie Lawler of his middleweight championship belt because of his ongoing inability to defend his title due to injuries, and the vacant title will be on the line in a March 15th fight between Phil Baroni and top ICON contender Kala Kolohe Hose.

Baroni’s last fight was a submission loss to Frank Shamrock at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni in June of last year. He’s a veteran of both the UFC and PRIDE, and holds notable wins over Amar Suloev, Ryo Chonan, and Yuki Kondo. Hose (5-1) has won his last four fights by first-round KO/TKO, and defeated Frederic Belleton at last month’s ShoXC Elite Challenger Series. He was originally scheduled to face Lawler for the ICON title in December, but Lawler was forced to pull out, leading to the entire event being canceled.

In an article on TheFightNetwork, Lawler was quoted as saying, “I’m disappointed and upset, but I understand why this happening. In 2007, I did well when I was healthy. I accept the decision, but I promise everyone that I will return. And I will get my belt back.” On his next opponent, Baroni said: “Kala is like a younger version of me. I like him. It’s too bad Lawler was afraid to fight him, but I’m not. I’ve been fighting top guys my entire career, and I’m going to show the Hawaiian fans what a real middleweight champ looks like.”

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