Getting To Know: Chris Leben
Love him or hate him, Chris "The Cat Smasher" Leben may have been the most famous Mixed Martial Arts fighter in the United States. He single handedly, or maybe more appropriately, with his sharp tongue, carried Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter" before a cut from Kenny Florian sent him home. While Chris was on the show, viewers couldn't wait to watch the show to see what Chris would do next. Then, half the viewers tuned in to watch him fight and win while the other half wanted to see him lose.
Leben has made huge waves in short time. According to Chris's website, www.ChrisLeben.com, "Chris was only in the seventh grade when he decided he would one day become an Ultimate Fighter.
Born and raised in Portland, OR, Chris grew up as the middle child of a single-parent household. His interest in martial arts began as early as elementary school, with his participation in karate, as well as wrestling and boxing soon after.
It was just over three years ago that Chris discovered Team Quest and his aspirations of becoming a professional fighter began to take shape. After walking into the gym and talking with trainer Robert Follis for just a few minutes, Chris was determined to become a world champion. Since then, he has amassed a 15-1 record and holds middleweight titles in Gladiator Challenge, WEC, Sportfight, and the UFCF. He is now also a full-time coach at Team Quest.
When he's not training, Chris enjoys skateboarding, snowboarding, dirt biking, and spending time with his friends. He lists Robert Follis, Randy Couture, and Matt Lindland as a few of his role models, and hopes to one day open his own gym.
In 2004, Chris was selected as a cast member for the new reality series, "The Ultimate Fighter", airing Monday nights on Spike TV."
Chris's girlfriend June happens to be one of our Lockflow.com models for many of our submission moves in the technique section. With June's help, Lockflow.com was able to interview Mr. Leben regarding several topics of interest. As always, Chris doesn't hold back in this Lockflow.com exclusive.
LF: A lot of people didn't see your fight with Jason Thacker. How did that fight go down?
CL: Real fast. Ding ding, I took him down, elbowed him repeatedly and the ref stopped it within a minute and a half.
LF: I was told that you took the microphone after the fight and talked to Jason and the crowd. What did you say?
CL: I apologized to him for pissing on his bed. Then I thanked him for being a man and stepping up to challenge me.
LF: It has been rumored around on a few sites that your next opponent is Pattrick Cote on a upcoming Spike TV UFC. Is that 100% confirmed? If so, what are your thoughts on this fight?
CL: Yeah, that fight's a done deal. As for my thoughts on Patrick Cote, I think Matt Hughes summed it up best when he said, "Canadian fighters are like Canadian money. They're only worth half as much!"
LF: You seemed to be more focused than ever before, what kind of fight can we expect from the "Cat Smasher"?
CL: It'll be a stand-up, knock-down, drag-out war-- or a quick submission. You know, whatever it takes.
LF: What does your training schedule look like?
CL: I do ply metrics and conditioning in the morning, and then rounds and drilling in the evening.
LF: TUF Season 2 is coming up; do you have any advice for the participants of the next show?
CL: I pissed on Jason Thacker's bed! If any Season 2'ers want to one-up me that means poop!
LF: What has been you favorite fight so far and why?
CL: I thought me and Joe Doerksen had a good fight. There was blood everywhere, just the way I like it.
LF: Where do you find your inspiration for the training and fighting?
CL: Focusing for a fight keeps me sane. I love fighting; it's just what I do. I don't think there's any one thing that inspires me, fighting is just part of who I am.
LF: Anything you like to say?
CL: Yes, I changed my nickname to "The Crippler."
Lockflow.com: Thanks Chris and good luck!