Chris Leben, a veteran of the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter, has announced that he is coming out of retirement to take a bout in the upstart World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation.
Leben will face fellow UFC vet Phil Baroni at the October 20th event, it was reported by MMA Fighting.
‘The Crippler’, now 37-years-old, last fought in mixed martial arts in 2013 — a loss to Uriah Hall which was fourth defeat in succession. Leben appeared to be on the verge of resurrecting his career with Bellator MMA in 2016 but medical tests showed the discovery of a heart condition which would likely have ruled out the possibility of being awarded a licence to fight by the regulatory bodies which govern the sport.
Now, and with his heart having reaped the benefits, as Leben says, of turmeric, garlic and wheatgrass, Leben is ready to make up for lost time in bare knuckle, a style of fighting which has seen a resurgence in recent times to the point where it is looked upon favorably by at least one athletic commission in the US.
Baroni, meanwhile, competed for the first time in 4 years in May, earning a 24-second knockout at a King of the Cage event.