Chris Leben: The Origin Story

We like to rag on fuckups like Junie Browning and Jesse Taylor for their ridiculous drunken antics, lack of impulse control, and apparent urge to piss away every chance that’s given to them in an endless quest toward self-destruction. But in general, being a violent, alcoholic jackass is a result of some kind of unresolved psychic torment that booze temporarily erases. Monday’s UFC 89 Countdown: Bisping vs. Leben special detailed the upbringing of TUF‘s original hard-drinking hothead, Chris Leben. It seems that everybody in Chris’s family was a drinker, from the father who abandoned him to the mother who tried to support him and his two siblings with her bartending job — and the lack of supervision, stability, and positive role models through his childhood didn’t exactly shape him into the world’s most balanced person.

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Other things we learn about Chris Leben in this video: He couldn’t read or write when he graduated high school. He went AWOL from the Army after being convinced by a recruiter — falsely, it turned out — that he could enlist just to be on their wrestling team. Losing to Anderson Silva sent him on a two-week bender. Excluding boot camp and jail, he’d never been sober for more than a week or two straight since he was 13, but at the time of Leben’s interview for the special, he was 89 days sober. And finally, he ain’t goin’ all the way to England to lose.