UFC fighter and former The Ultimate Fighter
contestant Chris Leben
sat down with us yesterday for an exclusive interview. Chris is preparing for his fight against Jason MacDonald that takes place tomorrow night, Saturday, December 30th, in Las Vegas. It will Leben's first UFC Pay-Per-View fight.
We discussed how Chris got started fighting, his preparations for Saturday's fight, and what the future holds.
First off, I just want to thank you for taking the time to chat with us during what is a busy time for you obviously in advance of a huge fight for you this Saturday night at UFC 66 with Jason. Your one of the most entertaining people in the fight game in my book, so thanks for being so colorful and generous with your time.
Thank you.Maybe we can chat about that tattoo work you're having done on your back. The last time I saw you, you were getting some serous ink work done. What is it and is it ready to be unveiled this weekend?
Well, you know, it's a work in progress and I'm still going on it. It's just a Samurai cutting off some dude's head and holding a bloody head in his hand.
Nice. It looked pretty expansive across your back last time, but good to hear. We can't wait to see it.
[laughs] Yeah I got the rest of it colored in and I'm actually scheduled for a couple of days as soon as this fight is over to get some more work done, so every fight you should be seeing something new on me.
Nice. So, obviously, you've been fighting on Spike for a long time, but this is your first televised pay-per-view event. What are you looking forward to, personally, this Saturday night other than putting the stamp down on Jason?
Well, he beat one of my good teammates, good friend of mine, Ed Herman, and I think he just really didn't get a chance to get going in that fight and he's a lot better than that. He's been my training partner since day one and I want to go in and show him what our gym is made of and go in there and really destroy him and make an example out of him.
Fantastic. Are you having to cut a ton of weight before this fight?
Well yeah. It always sucks and it's never fun. I got about 18 pounds to lose.
Between now and when?
Three O'Clock tomorrow.
What's the process of cutting weight like for you?
Well, it's a lot of hard work. It's not fun, whatsoever. It involves me sitting in a sauna wearing a sweat suit, running until I think I'm gonna pass out and die, sitting in the sauna until I do pass out, and my coach drags me out, wakes me back up, and throws me back in the sauna when I'm crying and whining...it's tough. It's much more difficult then the fight. I look forward to the fight. I don't look forward to cutting weight.
You came off a tough loss to Anderson Silva over the summer where you were knocked out, I believe that was your first time being knocked out ever, to come back and knock out Jorge Santiago in a great fight on Spike. What can we expect to see from you, fighting style-wise, this weekend against Jason, who we all know is kind of known more for his submission game?
Well, look for me to keep it exciting. That's my plan. He's telling people he wants to stand up with me and I'm going to test him to see if that's true or not. I mean, he's won 80 percent of his fights by submission. I like the ground. I like to go in and roll around and I like to have Jujitsu practices, but when I'm fighting, that's not my thing. I'm going to look to make him fall on his face. I'm gonna' look to punch him in his head and drop him and he's probably gonna' look to take me down and submit me. If he gets it to the ground one way or another, I'll take a submission from down there. You know, I'm not afraid of doing that, but if I had my druthers, we'd all stand toe-to-toe in the ring.
Can you tell us about how you prepared yourself for this fight, about your training schedule, where you're training right now, what your day-in, day-out routine looks like?
For this fight, most of my training I've done at Team Quest. I took a few trips up to AMC and trained there as well and it's kinda the same thing I always do. This time I've been getting a little bit more serious, slowly but surely as I get older. They tell me I'm getting older and wiser, but I think my weight's down lower than it has been in the past and my cardio is up, my conditioning is up. I've been really focused and have stayed in the gym. I haven't had too many problems outside of training to pull me away, so I've really been able to get in the gym and focus on this fight.
Part 1 / Part 2
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