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Tuesday, 07/09/2013, 07:00 am

Chris Leben Was Granted Exemption for Suboxone Prior to UFC 162

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| News has surfaced following UFC 162 that the Nevada State Athletic Commission granted UFC middleweight Chris Leben permission to use the prescription opioid medication Suboxone.

Leben (22-10 MMA, 12-9 UFC) lost his fight on the card in a split decision to Andrew Craig (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at this past Saturday’s event. With his exemption granted by the NSAC Leben became the first fighter to ever receive an exemption for the drug, which is typically used as a replacement therapy for people with narcotic dependency. NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed the news with MMAjunkie.com.

Leben has been fighting addiction for the majority of his career and has tested positive for prescription drugs in the past. He has made headlines many times for some serious slip ups, including a DUI in 2010.

Leben recently attended rehab for an addiction to prescription painkillers and has apparently been sober for the last 15 months. Leben explained that he started his life changing turn-around by moving from Hawaii to Southern California, where he adopted a health-first diet and training regimen. He trained for his UFC 162 bout at Alliance MMA.

He was heading into his fight against Craig following back-to-back losses and was hoping that his life turn-around would translate over into his fight career as well but his return was not pretty as he got out-pointed and almost finished in the third round of the bout. 

“I’m a creature of excess – everything in excess and nothing in moderation,” Leben said. “That’s kind of been my motto for life. So this health thing, and this energy I have, I’m getting addicted to that. It’s a complete rebirth.”

Unfortunately the rebirth did not lead to a Leben victory at UFC 162 against Craig but Chris is not letting the three-fight skid bring his spirits down. Following his loss he took to Twitter to say this:

“Well didn’t get the comeback story, but i promise you there will be no relapse story. Gonna stay strong & continue on the path.”

We wish all the best to Chris Leben and we hope to hear great, positive stories about him in the future.

It is still unclear whether or not Leben will be fighting in the UFC following his UFC 162 performance but stay posted to BJPenn.com for more updates concerning Chris “The Crippler” Leben’s future.

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

comments

10 Comments to Chris Leben Was Granted Exemption for Suboxone Prior to UFC 162

  1. Gig'em says:

    Chris you haven’t been sober for 15 months.. Suboxone is just as addictive if not more. I’ve seen people detox of that and is probably worse than what you were on. Its still a drug of addiction man, get clean off that and have your healthy diet and live happy man

  2. titsmcgee says:

    We shouldn’t be so quick to judge. The suboxone is usually prescribed as a part of treatment to help addicts slowly come off the opiate dependence. This article doesn’t state the dosage of the medication and we don’t know how much longer he will be on it. I know of several people who have used Suboxone/buprenorphine to successfully kick opiate dependence which is very difficult to do cold turkey. My prayers to Leben and his family. I hope he remains clean and becomes the great fighter we know he can be.

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