UFC suspends Leben for failed drug test

The UFC announced Chris Leben would serve a one-year suspension for failing a drug test following his UFC 138 main-event loss to Mark Munoz on Nov. 5 in Birmingham, England.

“I would like to make it known that I fully accept this suspension and apologize for embarrassing the UFC, my friends and family, and the sport of mixed martial arts,” said the veteran middleweight who has a 22-8 career MMA record, who tested positive for prescription painkillers oxycodone and oxymorphone after his second-round TKO loss to Munoz.

“I’m learning that I’m my own worst enemy sometimes. I can’t succeed in the Octagon or in life behaving this way, I’ve got to make some real changes over the next year, and I’m going to focus on getting my life and career back on track.”

This is Leben’s second suspension for a failed drug test, as he served a nine-month ban for testing positive for the steroid Stanozolol after a 2008 loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 89—which also took place in the U.K., where there is no official regulatory commissions like there are in the U.S. In such instances, the UFC hires an outside company to handle drug testing. The other 19 fighters on the UFC 138 card passed their tests.

UFC president Dana White said the organization had no plans to cut the popular fighter, who in April 2008 was sentenced to 35 days in jail for probation violation stemming from a DUI charge.

“I like Chris and I want him to do well, but based on his actions, he’s been suspended for one year,” White said. “If he needs professional help, we are going to be there for him.

“We want to see him succeed not only in the Octagon but in his personal life.”