UFC Middleweight Chris â€œThe Cripplerâ€ Leben, who recently finished up an 11 day stint in a Portland, Oregon jail for parole violation, divulged to MMAWeekly.com how his incarcerated experience has helped him to see things more clearly, and evolve into a more mature individual. Personally, I found his anecdote about an inmate choking to be the highlight:
â€œYouâ€™d think that being a professional fighter might paint a target on his back, but Leben encountered more curiosity from his fellow inmates than anything else. They wanted him to show them some moves. Happy to oblige, he once demonstrated a choke on an inmate while 20 others watched.
Now Iâ€™m standing there with 20 prisoners around and theyâ€™re freaking out. This guyâ€™s laying there, snoring like crazy. Iâ€™m like â€˜itâ€™s all right, itâ€™s all right,â€™ then I realize they have cameras in here. Iâ€™ve just choked this guy out in jail â€“ I could get in trouble for this. I kept telling them, â€˜heâ€™s fine, heâ€™s fine,â€™ and it took this guy a minute to wake up. Finally he woke up and we had a laugh, and luckily I didnâ€™t get in any trouble for it. That was beginning and the ending of my inmate coaching career.â€
â€œI told the guys itâ€™s a blood choke, so you donâ€™t have to squeeze hard,â€ he said. â€œSo I was just kind of choking him with one arm while heâ€™s standing up. And I told him just tap when you start to feel like youâ€™re going to pass out. Well, he didnâ€™t tap, and at the time Iâ€™m going wow, this guyâ€™s pretty tough, Iâ€™m surprised he hasnâ€™t tapped yet. He just drops to the floor in the cell.
Lesson learned: If youâ€™re a professional fighter and you happen to find yourself locked up, donâ€™t bother demonstrating any moves on fellow inmates. Unless you have to, of course.
The article concluded that while Leben would be an ideal candidate for the UFCâ€™s spontaneous July 19th UFC Fight Night 14 event, he is currently looking at an August return at the earliest.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Leben is rumored to be fighting Michael Bisping at UFC 89 in early-October in England. Rumors for that event can be found here.