UFC Veteran Chris Leben is coming out of retirement but his next fight won’t take place inside of the Octagon.

Leben has had some hard times after he decided to call it quits in Jan. 2014 ending a 12-year long career that included 22 fights in the UFC and following that decision, he was ordered to 120 days in jail after he was convicted of breaking and entering his ex-wife’s apartment, possession of illegal firearms and violating a court order held by Kaleena Leben. He started his sentence back in September of 2015 but was later released.

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However, things were looking up for him as he signed an exclusive multi-year, multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA but Leben’s comeback was cut short after doctors found a severe medical condition that left him with just 18 percent of normal blood flow to his heart, which is a life-threatening abnormality to the left ventricle of his heart that was oversized, misshapen, and not operating prop and as a result, he never fought in Bellator.

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That has all changed now that he has been cleared to fight Phil Baroni on Oct. 20 in a bare-knuckle boxing match with the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation in Casper, Wyoming. Leben made the news official by writing the following on his official Instagram account:

“Just signed my contract with the world bareknuckle fighting federation to fight Phil Baroni October 20 I’m back baby.”

On the flip side, Baroni has competed in several top promotions in his pro-MMA career including UFC, Pride FC, Elite XC, Strikeforce, DREAM, Bellator, ONE Championship in his nearly two decades of experience in the sport and has fought top names such as Frank Shamrock, Karo Parisyan, Brad Tavares, Kazuo Misaki, Dave Menne, among many others.

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Andrew Ravens has been writing about combat sports since 2013 and has been a fan for over ten years! Andrew brings a different style to his work with an insider look into the fighters themselves.