Chris “The Crippler” Leben, is a name so synonymous with the UFC and MMA, you’d think they were made for each other.
Leben’s rise in the professional ranks started on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter where he trained with a who's who of elite fighters that helped shaped the industry into what it is today; Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, Diego Sanchez, and Kenny Florian. Prior to TUF, The Crippler was the inaugural WEC Middleweight Champion. He defeated fellow TUF fighter, Swick.
His career flourished in the UFC winning 12 fights by TKO or KO and five by submission, and has stepped in the ring with a laundry list of superstars like Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, Wanderlei Silva, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Mark Munoz. At UFC 116 he defeated Akiyama (his second fight in two weeks) in spectacular fashion earning Fight of the Night honours.
However, outside of the ring Leben was battling drug and alcohol addiction while trying to maintain a lifestyle that requires 100 percent focus. His book recounts a struggle that many deal with on a personal level, but not as publicly as Leben.
At The GM’s Perspective we were able to speak with him about his new book, his life in one of the most exciting sports in the world, and how he is using his past indiscretions as a platform to help others.