Middleweight Chris Leben
has been suspended by the UFC for one year after testing positive for prescription painkillers oxycodone and oxymorphone following his loss at UFC 138
in Birmingham, England, the organization announced via its website
"I like Chris and I want him to do well, but based on his actions, he's been suspended for one year," UFC President Dana White said in a statement on UFC.com. "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."
This marks the second time that Leben, who lost by corner stoppage after fellow middleweight Mark Munoz
opened a large cut over his left eye in their November 5 bout, has tested positive for banned substances via the UFC's independent drug-testing efforts.
Leben previously tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol following his UFC 89 bout against Michael Bisping
, which was also in Birmingham, England. For that offense, Leben was suspended nine months by the UFC and fined one-third of his fight purse.
Since UFC events are not subject to any athletic commission-sanctioned testing in England, the UFC conducts its own tests for fights on British soil and hands out punishments for positive tests at its own discretion.
In the official statement released by the UFC, Leben is quoted as saying: "I would like to make it known that I fully accept this suspension and apologize for embarrassing the UFC, my friends and family, and sport of mixed martial arts. 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. Again, I'm sorry to the UFC and fans that've supported me since my days on The Ultimate Fighter."
According to the UFC, the 19 other fighters on the UFC 138 card passed their post-fight drug tests.