UFC middleweight veteran Chris “The Crippler” Leben (22-8) has been suspended from active competition for one (1) year after testing positive for the painkillers Oxycodone and Oxymorphone following his second round TKO loss to Mark Munoz (12-2) on Nov. 5 in the UFC 138 main event in Birmingham, England.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced the news Monday in a UFC.com report.
UFC President Dana White commented:
“I like Chris and I want him to do well, but based on his actions, he’s been suspended for one year. 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.”
Leben did not deny the results and apologized to the UFC and those close to him:
“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. 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.”
It is not the first time Leben has failed a drug test. In fact, it was the last time Leben fought in Birmingham, England, in Oct. 2008, following a unanimous decision loss to Michael Bisping (21-3) in the main event at UFC 89, that he tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol and was subsequently suspended for nine months and fined a third of his fight purse.
Because there is no official regulatory body or athletic commission that sanctions MMA fights in England, the UFC hires a third party to conduct the drug testing of its athletes. The remaining 19 fighters on the UFC 138 card all passed their post-fight drug tests according to the UFC report.