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09th Mar 2016

TUF veteran Chris Leben won’t be making comeback due to serious heart condition

Sad news

Ben Kiely

Sadly, it looks like Chris Leben’s fighting career is over.

The Ultimate Fighter season one contestant retired in early 2014, but money issues saw him sign with Bellator MMA last month. However, doctors discovered that Leben had a serious heart condition during a physical, which means he will no longer be making his comeback.

Swedish news site MMANytt first reported the news claiming that Leben failed several electrocardiogram tests, and doctors subsequently discovered a “life-threatening abnormality” to the left ventricle of his heart, which was “oversized,” “misshapen,” and “not operating properly.” (8)

Doctors estimate that the blood flow through Leben’s heart is just 18 percent of what is considered normal and a combination of life-saving drugs have been immediately prescribed in hopes of preventing “a catastrophic cardiac event.” The condition is thought to be the result of his years of problems with drug addiction, including “extreme opiate addiction” and alcoholism as well as “medical and psychological issues throughout his life.”

According to the statement published on MMANytt, the prognosis is mixed.

“One doctor believes that he should be considered for a heart transplant, while another doctor hopes that medication and a healthy lifestyle will reverse some of the damage over time.”

Unable to make a living as a professional fighter, the 11-year MMA veteran is working as a part-time coach at The Arena MMA gym in San Diego while studying to earn a real estate sales license.