Chris Leben Speaks On TKO Win Over Phil Baroni At WBKFF 1

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Chris Leben
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Chris Leben has issued a statement following a successful return to combat sports.

Last night (Nov. 9), Leben made his bare-knuckle boxing debut. “The Crippler” took on fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Phil Baroni. The light heavyweight clash headlined the first World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) event.

Chris Leben Talks Successful Return

Leben earned a first-round TKO victory over Baroni. It only took “The Crippler” one minute and 19 seconds. Leben took to his Instagram page to reflect on his victory:

“Last night was a good one. Hard to believe after everything I’ve been through I have the privilege to be back in the ring doing this. [I] couldn’t of done it without my coaches and team at the arena and of course my family and all the support.”

The bout was bizarre and it had little to do with Leben. Baroni tried to grapple with Leben even though it was a bare-knuckle contest. The referee even warned Baroni of the attempts. The finishing blow from Leben appeared to be a counter for another one of Baroni’s grappling attempts. Even color commentator and WBKFF President Bas Rutten was puzzled.

Leben was last seen in action back in Dec. 2013. He suffered a TKO loss to Uriah Hall. Leben planned on making his Bellator debut back in 2016, but heart abnormalities put a stop to that. “The Crippler” is now free of those health issues as he was allowed to compete last night.

Do you think Chris Leben has found a niche for himself in the world of bare-knuckle boxing?