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UFC 138 Excuse Watch: Chris Leben Had to Cut 21 Pounds in 24 Hours Before Munoz Fight

(Leben gets his cut checked out by forensics investigator Vince Masuka. Gif via IronForgesIron)

We knew something was up. After the first five minutes of his UFC 138 main event battle with Mark Munoz on Saturday, Chris Leben already looked like he was heading into the championship rounds — sucking deep breaths, his body drifting towards a Pudzianowski-esque shade of crimson. And according to a Fighters Only report, it wasn’t just trans-Atlantic jet lag or a post-Halloween candy hangover:

Chris Leben cut nearly 21 pounds in 24 hours to make weight for his fight with Mark Munoz, Fighters Only was told ahead of last night’s bout. The 31-year old middleweight had “a terrible weight cut” and was in such bad shape before the weigh ins that medical staff were keeping a very close eye on him.

A source close to Leben told Fighters Only on Friday that Leben had been left “shattered” by the amount of weight he had to cut on weigh-in day. He was in the hotel sauna from Friday morning hooded up and wearing layers of clothing as he sweated water out of his body. His dehydration and general condition was such that one of the medical team backstage said Leben would be pulled from the fight if things deteriorated any further.

Indeed, Leben was so delirious after the fight that he was drawing dicks where they didn’t really belong. So what the hell happened? Leben understood that his fight with Munoz represented a pivotal moment in his career that could have established him as a top contender in the UFC’s middleweight division. And yet, trying to cut over twenty pounds before the fight suggests that somewhere along the line, he wasn’t taking his preparation as seriously as he should have. If Leben comes out with an explanation for the epic miscalculation, we’ll let you know.

Related: Five of the Worst Weight Cuts in MMA History

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Rachel- November 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm
From day one of TUF1 Leben has been a sook. Never have I seen him take responsibility for his actions... Why he has any fans amazes me. Be a man and say well done just once to another fighter and I may get a little respect for you. Chris Leben makes Josh Koscheck look like a saint.
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NomadRip- November 8, 2011 at 8:32 am
On Dana's video blog, here is what he said as the doc was checking him out backstage (Leben):

Every time I would squeeze, that blood would just start dumping out.
I couldn't see one, and I couldn't grip, two.
Three, I just didn't feel mad enough in this round. I just liked him too much. I just didn't have that angry _____.
His wrestling was too good when I had that much blood.
I need to reevaluate things. I can't be fighting if I'm fightin' like that.
I might be too old now.
xplicit666- November 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm
ur 3*
xplicit666- November 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm
@virpz: hey genius jones is 24 not 21 uhmmmmm so catch up moron cuz 3 yrs behind lol
Iskander Neptu- November 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm
Dana is not happy..
U wont be seeing the Crippler headlining main events EVER again.
virpz- November 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm
I mean't lean mass
virpz- November 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm
And for John Jones he is going to heavyW pretty soon. He is 21 years old so at 24-27 he will not be able to fit in the 205 division without losing alot of fat mass and getting his ass kicked.
virpz- November 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm
Well you had a brutal weight cut in 24 hours that's not munoz problem and that's no ones problem.
That only shows you really suck and doesnt belongs to the UFC PERIOD.
No matter how talented you are if you aren't injured or your mother just died the day before then you did lose fair and square. Live with it and shut the fuck up.
SnackDaddy- November 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Well in that case, he deserved to get his ass kicked.
JaredB- November 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm
"its not leben’s fault there is no possible way he could have known he was going to have to weigh 185 lbs for this fight against munoz just as there is noway he could have known that the best prefight meal isnt gummy bears and twizzlers for his fight against stann get off his back"

Thank you.

"For being a small middleweight, I’m not seeing how weight cutting should be a problem for this man."

Yes, he's smaller than a lot of 170s. If he was 206 pounds than he was really out of shape.
smellypiratehooker- November 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm
For being a small middleweight, I'm not seeing how weight cutting should be a problem for this man.
pogodog7- November 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm
There should only be a weigh-in 5 minutes before the actual fight. This way, everyone fights at their actual weight. It is absurd for guys like Jon Jones to fight at 205 when he is bigger than all of his opponents. There are way too many guys that fight smaller guys because they are cutting so much weight
RwilsonR- November 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm
+1 to jfjjfjff's armchair psychological analysis of Chris Leben loosely based on reality show clips, scattered interviews, and walkout song choices. I think he's spot on!
RwilsonR- November 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm
I believe his excuse. He looked huge for this fight, and gassed immediately. It just isn't a good excuse. Leben didn't take this on short notice. Why the fuck wasn't he closer to 185 prior to the day before? Very unprofessional.
jfjjfjff- November 7, 2011 at 11:50 am
fingerssfv: "There needs to be a rematch, because Munoz was definitely afraid of Leben’s power"
idiotic statement. be unprepared for a 5 round main event fight, and quit in round two because you didnt land a hail mary knockout... and someone will gift you a rematch, right?
layzboybc- November 7, 2011 at 11:34 am
its not leben's fault there is no possible way he could have known he was going to have to weigh 185 lbs for this fight against munoz just as there is noway he could have known that the best prefight meal isnt gummy bears and twizzlers for his fight against stann get off his back
Get Off Me- November 7, 2011 at 11:26 am
+1 Jimbonics
I read the arguments that he couldn't see and ultimately his corner stopped the fight.
What I saw though was a tired fighter with a cut that would not stop most UFC fighters, coupled with the fact that he was gassed and unable to keep the fight standing.
Post fight with Rogan he did not mention his eye, but rather that it was difficult to fight while choking on his own blood.
No matter what the excuse, Chris Leben is capable of more and I hope to see him work on his ground game(like he said), conditioning and a possible move to 170 in the future.
RG- November 7, 2011 at 10:55 am
This undermines Leben's mental capacity. You don't sacrifice your health and career by accepting a fight when you know you are 20 lbs
overweight. Common sense dictates he should have refused it. I don't buy it.
keepyahguessing- November 7, 2011 at 10:49 am
Still my favorite fighter..yes disappointed with his fight, no excuses..people have bad days at work just really bad when its the important one..

Jared is really KOS hahaha
fingerssfv- November 7, 2011 at 10:43 am
At issue is he needs to find a trainer or manager or coach who makes sure he cuts weight properly. Maybe he needs to go on Munoz' diet: K-Sos System, or maybe the Dolce Diet. If he is that stupid, then he needs a dietition who enforces the rules of diets and weight cuts.
fingerssfv- November 7, 2011 at 10:37 am
That was obvious. I was wondering why he was having issues. There is no way that guy was not training for endurance, but he was gassed in the first round. Something was definitely wrong and that was about the only explanation. He did complain about problems with the food, but I do not think he was in England until just days before the fight. I could understand being there a month or longer, but still...21 lbs? What was he thinking? There needs to be a rematch, because Munoz was definitely afraid of Leben's power.
JaredB- November 7, 2011 at 10:23 am
I'm a retard? He was booked for this fight MONTHS ago. It's not like he took it on three weeks notice, out of shape, and had to cut 30 pounds or something. He had a full camp. He's a liar and a quitter and if his name was Tito Ortiz everybody would be all over him. Fuck Chris Leben.
Pen Fifteen- November 7, 2011 at 10:08 am
Good call Jared, because the guy wouldn't have looked like shit just because of a brutal weight cut. You are a fucking retard.
JaredB- November 7, 2011 at 9:55 am
This ass clown always has excuses and can never let his opponents have a win. This is the second time in a year he's quit in a fight and we have to hear his boyfriend, Joe Rogan, talk about how much heart he has and hear about how he beat he beat the Wand that still had pieces of Yuki Kondo's face in his foot and not washed up mid thirties cuddly teddy bear Wand. This guy is one of my least favorite fighters and I'm glad that his idiotic "Go back to Japan where the competition is easier" line will be a fan in joke about hubris 20 years after he's retired.

People complain about Ortiz, this guy said he lost to Stann because he ate too much candy the night before! You know what would be a valid excuse, and what I think the truth is...I think Leben was drinking the day of the fight, you can see it in his eyes and his skin tone. He was sweating profusely in his walk out.