Oft-troubled UFC middleweight Chris “The Crippler” Leben finds himself in hot water yet again after failing a post-fight drug test for the second time in his career.
Following his UFC 138 main event battle with Mark Muñoz, Leben tested positive for both Oxycodone and Oxymorphone, synthetic opiate painkillers (he first failed a drug test at UFC 89 in 2008, testing positive for steroids following a decision loss to Michael Bisping). The infraction has cost the 31-year-old a significant chunk of his fighting career, as the UFC announced today along with the results of the drug test that Leben will be suspended for one year.
“I like Chris and I want him to do well, but based on his actions, he’s been suspended for one year,” said UFC President Dana White. “If he needs professional help, we are going to be there for him. We want to see him succeed not only in the Octagon, but in his personal life.”
The failed drug test adds to a long list of trouble for Leben, which includes several run-ins with the law for driving under the influence, both in his home state of Oregon and his new adopted home of Hawaii. The fan-favorite brawler issued a statement atoning for his behavior.
“I would like to make it known that I fully accept this suspension and apologize for embarrassing the UFC, my friends and family, and sport of mixed martial arts,” Leben said. “I’m learning that I’m my own worst enemy sometimes. I can’t succeed in the Octagon or in life behaving this way. I’ve got to make some real changes over the next year and I’m going to focus on getting my life and career back on track. Again, I’m sorry to the UFC and fans that’ve supported me since my days on The Ultimate Fighter.”
Leben fought Muñoz earlier this month at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England in what was scheduled to be a five round, non-title main event. Muñoz wouldn’t need that long to get the job done though, inflicting enough damage to Leben over the first two rounds that he called it quits on the stool before the start of the third.
Drug testing was overseen by the UFC as a result of the event being held on foreign soil with no athletic commission. All other UFC 138 fighters who were tested for drugs of abuse passed their tests.