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Chris Leben Ready For Comeback After Nine-Month Suspension

The bad boy from season one of The Ultimate Fighter is turning over a new leaf after a nine-month suspension from the UFC. Chris “The Crippler” Leben was suspended from the UFC last October after testing positive for Stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid, following his fight with Michael Bisping at UFC 89. Leben says curiosity led him to try the performance enhancing drug.

“I guess curiosity killed the cat,” he admitted to The Canadian Press. “That’s the best thing I could say, you know. Everybody wants to be bigger, faster, stronger.”

Leben went on to admit that he had taken the drug months prior to his fight with Bisping.

“I had taken something several months before the fight and I didn’t realize that it stayed in your system for up to eight months,” Leben stated. “I mean everybody has the desire to win and everybody’s going to do what they can to win. The bottom line is – depending on your organization – if they tell you you can’t take protein, then you can’t take protein if that’s what the rule is. The rules are the rules and you’ve got to follow them. You’ve got to be fair, you’ve got to play within the guidelines and I didn’t do that and obviously I paid the price.”

In addition to the nine-month suspension, Leben forfeited one-third of his UFC 89 purse.

“This is a huge setback for me, but it is something I will have to deal with,” he noted. “Of course this is a hard hit for me monetarily, but more so this is embarrassing for me and for all of my fans.”

Leben returns to the octagon at UFC 102, where he will face WEC transplant Jake Rosholt in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Leben is training hard and looking forward to the fight, but admits fighting Rosholt wasn’t his first choice of opponents.

“He’s a fantastic wrestler, world-class, I mean a four-time all-American, he’s a national champ,” he stated. “Anyone that reaches that level in any sport is a consummate competitor. Obviously you have to respect those skills, which I do. At the same time, there’s definitely some other people out there in the weight class I would have picked first.”

UFC 102 takes place on August 29, 2009 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The event is headlined by former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture facing former PRIDE heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.