Chris Leben: The soul of a warrior

Make no mistake, Chris Leben was not meant for our times. Chris Leben is far more than that. He is the remnants of a much older time. Chris Leben is a warrior. Like the Wanderlei Silva‘s, or the Shogun Rua’s of the fighting world, Chris Leben possesses the soul of a warrior.

In todays society, MMA is the equivalent of the human battle field. Men from all ethnicities, backgrounds, colour or race compete inside the octagon to determine which one survives. It is the most primial, almost ritualistic of acts, that has passed down through the ages in different shapes or forms, and I believe Chris Leben is the perfect example of a fighter with the soul of a warrior.

While “The Crippler” may not be as accomplished, as decorated or as polished, or even as skilled as Wanderlei or Shogun, Leben has something special inside. His warrior spirit shows in all of his fights.  Leben brings a fight, no matter who you are, or what you’ve done, he will take the centre of the cage and stand to to toe with even the best striker, without a single shred of fear. Never once will he back down. Sure, he may get beat, but you can be sure if he gets knocked down, he will go down swinging for the fences.

Like the warriors of times gone by, Leben needs only his weapons(his deadly fists), his warpaint (his tattoo’s and hair dye), and his attitude. Chris proved so many people wrong when he started on the original Ultimate Fighter. Despite being the last guy asleep and drinking more than anybody else, Leben worked his ass off every morning, most times doing more than anybody else in the house. Despite (twice) being eliminated on the show, Dana White saw something in Chris and kept him around.

Currently his record inside the cage is a very impressive 21-6. His most notable wins are over Jorge Rivera, Patrick Cote, Mike Swick and Allesio Sakara. Leben has only ever once been knocked out cold in his career, against the always impressive Anderson Silva, which is hardly an unforgiveable sin, but just as was at the time expected, despite Silva being superior in almost every way, Leben took the centre of the cage and went toe to toe with the best, and went down swinging.

Even Dana White, no doubt grateful to Leben for taking the fight on short notice, and making it his second fight in a fortnight, is a huge fan. At the post fight press conference, White told reporters:

Chris Leben was literally knocked out standing straight up, I’ve only seen that a couple of times. Usually when that happens, the guy has to go down. He was knocked out standing up, and in typical Chris Leben fashion, all of a sudden you just saw him snap out of it and start hammering away.”

Proven once again just how big a heart the guy has, Chris caught his opponent, Yoshihiro Akiyama in a triangle hold, in an excellent bout which had seen the first and second round go back in fourth. When he finished the fight, there was 20 or so seconds left, and it was clear Akiyama was dangerously close to grinding out a decision in his favour, but something in a clearly exhausted Leben’s soul gave him just enough power to lock in a triangle, causing his opponent to tap out. This epic 3 round war was awarded Fight of The Night at last night’s UFC 116.

Who ever Chris fights next, you can be sure it will take a viscious beating to keep him down, and you can expect to see Leben walk right into the centre of the cage with whoever he is paired up with next.

Chris Leben truly does posses the Soul of a Warrior.

Pictures: ESPN MMA


  1. Avatar of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    July 5, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Nice article Dan. Leban has alway been one of my favorite fighters, dude dosn’t die.

  2. Avatar of HugeCleavage


    July 5, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Chris leben should dump his nick name The crippler. From now on i will call Chris leben ”The American Zombie”

  3. Avatar of grapplure


    July 5, 2010 at 3:13 am

    i just like leben because he took a massive ass whooping when he fought silva

  4. Avatar of jamo


    July 5, 2010 at 5:07 am

    i never thought i would like this guy. on the tuf show, i didn’t see anything special accept his mouth. now i see why he was so hyped and feared on the show. now that he has grown up, his head seems on straight and he is a true contender. i wouldn’t mind seeing the old grudge match with mike swick or a brawl with vanderlei silva. whoever he fights, i know it will be fireworks.

  5. Avatar of Rafaelroberto840


    July 5, 2010 at 5:52 am

    the winner of this fight was supposed to fight fight bisping

    but i think leben should fight wanderlei and bisping should fight jake shields when they sign him

  6. Avatar of Burnout88


    July 5, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Hell yea i’d much rather see leben vs wandy those two would have an absolute war

  7. Avatar of jackthedrinker89


    July 5, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Actually i was thinkin about and i think since both Leben and Bisping want Wanderlei, maybe they should rematch (and i hope leben avenges his loss) and the winner gets Wanderlei i think that should be the only logical reasoing in this cluster **** because if Sheilds signs this could really shape up the title contender spots if silva moves up if he beats Sonnen and Belfort.

  8. Avatar of What


    July 5, 2010 at 10:44 am

    **** yeah he does..that SOB nearly had me in tears with the way HIS NEVER SAY DIE attitute man…damn u leban had me almost cryin and shit…but what a fight..yeaha BOI to THE CRIPPLER..

  9. Avatar of hondata79


    July 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    LEBEN ! ! !

    Bisping would just run away and duck and dodge, i dont
    want to see that fight again !

    GIVE HIM WAND ! ! ! SLUG FEST ! ! !

  10. Avatar of UndefeatedOfWest


    July 5, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I once remember reading a article on CMD that talked about warriors. It was very interesting.

    Anyways, good post.

  11. Avatar of WingChun


    July 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    @ hondata

    …Bisping is just a “points” fighter. It’s all he’s ever interested in doing against a serious fighter.

  12. Avatar of Nightwolf


    July 5, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Leben coming out for the 3rd round was hilarious!! Someone said “American Zombie”…lol…shit yeah! Just feeding off the crowd! Giving the crowd AND us in TV land what WE PAID FOR!!! Awesome fight! Look forward to seeing Leban in action again!

  13. Avatar of MMAKid


    July 5, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Chris Leben is a freakin beast. His fight was the most entertaining of the night.

  14. Avatar of UrHype


    July 5, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Why paint your toe and fingernails Leben? Whats up with that gay orange hair paint? Besides that, entertaining to watch fight.

  15. Avatar of ck1


    July 5, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    but he wont be seriously brain damaged like leben. hit and move can be boring to watch whereas leben is so exciting but i hope he makes some serious money so when he retires he can pay for a carer! lol

  16. Avatar of skinnydog


    July 6, 2010 at 3:24 am

    It shouldn’t bother you at all

  17. Avatar of japanegro23


    July 6, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Great article. Leben is a warrior for sure.

  18. Avatar of jsnwht


    July 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t paint my nails, but I don’t care if anyone else does. It certainly isn’t any more “gay” than a man wearing rings or a necklace (which many other fighters do). It is just not as common.

    You, my friend, are obviously ashamed to be a closet homosexual. I suggest you either come out or stop trying to judge others because you’re making your own tendencies obvious to anyone around you with half a brain.

  19. Avatar of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    July 6, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    oh hype you got called a closet homosexual are going to take it?

  20. Avatar of Joey Santosus

    Joey Santosus

    July 6, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Lol, ooooooohhh he hit u with the homo!!!

  21. Avatar of BlueClearSky


    July 7, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Chris is a true warrior

  22. Avatar of UrHype


    July 7, 2010 at 4:15 am

    hahaha dont lie, you paint your toe nails you little puffer, matter of fact, you couldnt see the word toenail without responding.

  23. Avatar of UrHype


    July 7, 2010 at 4:16 am

    its like I always say…..If it were raining girls, I would get hit with a fag.

  24. Avatar of UrHype


    July 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Im sorry but if your the toenail’s lawyer….no comment

  25. Avatar of capjo


    July 7, 2010 at 5:05 am

    excellent read! leben brings it each and every fight he is in, a true warrior as you said!

    Looks like Wandy will be out a long time. I wonder who Leben he will be fighting next?

  26. Avatar of capjo


    July 7, 2010 at 5:06 am

    time to step off the clown bus kid.

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