Nickname The Crippler
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg/13.2 st)
Born July 21, 1980 (1980-07-21) (age 27)
Fighting out of Oahu, Hawaii
Town of birth Portland, Oregon
Fighting style Wrestling, Boxing
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout 9
By submission 4
Chris "The Crippler" Leben (born July 21, 1980 in Portland, Oregon) is a mixed martial artist (MMA) best known for his appearance on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, a reality television series produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and broadcast on Spike TV.
Leben was considered to be one of the most controversial and outspoken fighters on the show. In the first episode he got drunk and urinated on future teammate Jason Thacker's bed, stealing his pillow afterward. After a heated confrontation where Josh Koscheck and Bobby Southworth sprayed Leben down with a hose when sleeping, Leben punched a window out as Koscheck ran away to hide. After the confrontation, UFC president Dana White set up a match between Leben and Koscheck. Leben ended up losing the two round fight by unanimous decision due to Koscheck's ability to score points by controlling Leben on the ground. Leben was visibly upset, especially since Koscheck made no effort to advance his position, only holding Leben down. Later in the show, teammate Nate Quarry was eliminated from the competition due to an ankle injury and was told he could choose a previously eliminated fighter to replace him. He chose Leben to return to the competition, only for him to be defeated by Kenny Florian due to doctor stoppage in the first semi-final match after Florian opened up a cut above Leben’s eye with an elbow strike. Despite his losses on the show, neither counted against his professional record. This is due to a law in Nevada (where the show was filmed) that all official fight results must be disclosed immediately after they take place. The show's producers did not want the results spoiled and leaked on the internet, so they decided to just make the matches exhibition bouts. On April 9, 2005 during the live finale of The Ultimate Fighter, Leben fought Jason Thacker on the undercard. Thacker was not amused when he watched the show and found out Leben had used his bed as a urinal. Speaking with Dana White, Thacker then demanded a match against Leben at the finale. The match was set up, and Leben won in 1:35 of the first round after referee stoppage due to strikes. Afterward, Leben got on the mic and apologized to Thacker for urinating on his bed, saying he had since given up drinking because of that incident.
After the conclusion of the show in 2005, Leben moved to Seattle, Washington to train with the mixed martial arts team AMC Pankration. Prior to the show, he had trained with Gresham, Oregon based Team Quest. He has also competed in several UFC events since the show, and is the only person to have fought in the first six Ultimate Fight Night events. Leben has a 7-3 record in the UFC, including a TKO win over fellow The Ultimate Fighter alumni Jason Thacker, a split decision win over The Ultimate Fighter 4 finalist Patrick Côté, an armbar submission against Edwin Dewees, a first-round TKO over Jorge Rivera, and a unanimous decision over Luigi Fioravanti.
Leben was defeated by Anderson Silva at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 5 on June 28, 2006 by knockout 49 seconds into the first round. Despite such a devastating loss, he wanted to be back in the ring and fighting immediately to prove he had not lost his edge. He got his fight at UFC Fight Night 6 on August 17, 2006. He defeated Jorge Santiago by knockout 35 seconds into the second round.
Leben then lost at UFC 66 to Canadian fighter Jason MacDonald by modified guillotine choke with less than a minute remaining in the second round. Leben then lost to Canadian Kalib Starnes by unanimous decision at UFC 71 on May 26, 2007.
Since UFC 71 Leben has moved to East Oahu, Hawaii to accept the main coaching job at Icon Fitness MMA Gym. ICON Sport promoter T. Jay Thompson has commented saying "I am very excited to have Chris at our new facility. His energy and overall enthusiasm for the sport will add tremendously to our gym. I am very impressed with the family friendly 'outside of the cage' personality of Chris and what that will mean to our members".
Leben was offered a main event fight against Mike Swick at UFC Fight Night 11 but turned down the fight for unknown reasons. Leben instead took on Terry Martin on the same UFC Fight Night 11 card, defeating Martin by knockout at 3:56 of the third round.
His next fight will be against Alessio Sakara at UFC 82.