Chris Leben may be returning under different circumstances, but a fight is a fight.
Leben will be competing tonight (Nov. 9) at the first World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation event. “The Crippler” will go one-on-one with another former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran in Phil Baroni. The bout will be contested for WBKFF’s light heavyweight championship.
Chris Leben Breaks Down Why He’s Returning To Fight
Leben hasn’t competed since Dec. 2013. He was set to return back in 2016, but heart abnormalities derailed his plans to fight under the Bellator banner. “The Crippler” explained to Bloody Elbow why the time is right:
“Most people don’t end their career on a good note. Where I was — my personal relationships, the gym I was at — there are so many variables. Without me wanting to point a finger at anyone, I’ll just say I wasn’t in a good place (when I last competed). Fighting is what I do. It’s my life. These years off have really given me the chance to realize how much I enjoy training for a fight and how much I appreciate it. I want to come back and prove the naysayers wrong — and I do have something to prove.”
Leben says he is now healthy and ready to go. “The Crippler” is 38 years old, but many felt he made the right decision to retire nearly five years ago. At that point, Leben had been in some wars. He amassed a professional mixed martial arts record of 22-11. He very much adopted the “kill or be killed” mentality as he earned 17 finishes and was finished six times in his fights.
Do you think Chris Leben’s decision to return is the right one?