Leben Locked Up

Written by Tom Ngo
May 8th, 2008

UFC Middleweight, Chris Leben, was sentenced today in a Portland, Oregon courthouse for his probation violation stemming from a DUI, which he received back in 2005. According to Calckamas County Court Officials, Leben was sentenced to 35 days in jail, with credit granted for time already served. This schedules Leben’s release to be in the last week of May, only two weeks before his scheduled bout against Michael Bisping at UFC 85, which was to take place June 7th in London, England.

Knowing that he would be required to obtain a Visa to leave the US, Leben immediately turned himself in to Oregon officials last week after accepting the fight against Bisping. Leben, who has been living in Hawaii, was aware of the probation violation and had been trying to transfer probation to Hawaii, but was not able to in time.

UFC 85 seems to have been jinxed from the get-go, as multiple fighters have been forced to pull out. Initially, the card was a star-studded promotion which featured former Light Heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell taking on Maricio “Shogun” Rua. Rua was then forced to withdraw due to the lack of progress on his surgically repaired knee. The UFC was able to place up and comer Rashad Evans into Rua’s spot to take on Liddell.

Then, Liddell was also forced to withdraw due to a pulled muscle in his leg and James Irvin has stepped in to replace him against Evans.

Knowing that the card was not as solid as once expected, the UFC scrambled to find replacements, and Leben vs. Bisping was one of the last minute quality fights that they were able to pull off. Matt Hughes vs. Thiago Alves was the other. It now looks as though Leben’s fight is in jeopardy due to his current situation, but UFC officials have not confirmed the cancellation.

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