Chris Leben recently announced that he planned to return to mixed martial arts competition and The Ultimate Fighter alum has signed with Bellator MMA.
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker announced the signing of Leben on Friday night’s edition of “Inside MMA” on AXS TV and stated that the signing of Leben is pending the fighter passing a physical.
“If I were to draw up the prototypical Bellator MMA competitor, there would be parts of Chris [Leben] in there,” Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said. “The guy has never had a boring fight and as I’ve said from day one, we’re going to continue to grow from the ground up and buy from the top down. I know that Chris still has a lot of fight left in him and I’m excited to see him fight We are hoping to see his Bellator debut this Spring.”
Leben (22-11) retired from the sport in 2014 following four straight defeats in the UFC and his last win came in 2011 against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132. During his time in the UFC, he had 22 fights and he won a Fight Night bonus six times.
“Focusing on just coaching at Victory MMA has been amazing, but recently, I started to get the itch to compete again,” Leben said. “So I extended an olive branch to the people at Bellator and here I am. I’m in great shape, I love the possible matchups this roster has to offer and I’m ready to show the world why they call me ‘The Crippler.’”
During the announcement of Leben signing with Bellator MMA, Coker did not indicate a timetable for when Leben will make his Bellator MMA debut.