It's been a bit of a rough past month for former UFC middleweight Chris Leben. Aside from transitioning away from fighting and dealing with that shift in identity, Leben also revealed that much of his winnings earned throughout his career were squandered on illegal drugs. After telling Ariel Helwani his time fighting in the UFC had 'been a fantastic, wonderful ride' lacking regrets, Leben's tone changed Sunday in a single tweet.
Emotional and dealing with the death of his pet dog, Leben sounded anything but satisfied with how his days of fighting had left him. Whether or not and to what extent fighters should receive longterm physical and mental health coverage is another debate, but it speaks volumes to have a stalwart like Leben speak so ill of his experience just weeks removed.
Even so, Leben later removed the tweet, citing the loss of his dog for the outburst. The UFC was also quick to respond privately to Leben.
I lost my dog and fucking lost it! Sorry please disregard my prev tweet! He was a family member:(— Chris Leben (@cripplerufc) February 17, 2014
Means a lot that Dana and the UFC care and have reached out— Chris Leben (@cripplerufc) February 17, 2014
It's easy to dismiss emotional comments from emotional people, but this instance asks some larger questions. For the sake of their business, it's something the UFC is sure to try to resolve.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Clarity. Chuck Mindenhall tries to make sense of the UFC's shifting middleweight division.
Nice spotlight on Sara McMann.
Teaser for Stuart Cooper's ADCC 2013 documentary series.
Cormier talks about his past with Cummins.
Miguel Torres fought this weekend. Meh.
Obrigado Senhor por mais essa vitória. Estou muito feliz , obrigado a minha familia que amo muito ,aos... http://t.co/wnObtLsQz3— Ronaldo Jacaré (@JacareMMA) February 16, 2014
"@danawhite: The heel kick was awesome " Thanks, I trained hard for today and I hope to have pleased the UFC I'm going back very motivated!— Erick Silva (@ErickSilvaMMA) February 16, 2014
Joe Proctor (@JoeProctor) February 16, 2014
Ossss! https://t.co/DyJljD676K— Rodrigo Damm (@RodrigoDaMMA) February 16, 2014
Galera do "twiiistyyy", mais uma vitória graças a Deusss! Obrigado a TODOS pelas msgs de apoio e parabéns! Muito importante a energia de vcs— Felipe Arantes (@SertanejoUFC) February 16, 2014
Better luck next time.
J'ai beaucoup appris de cette défaite, je vais revenir plus fort. I lost, I learned a lot, I'll come back stronger.— Francis Carmont (@franciscarmont) February 16, 2014
すいません、良いところなしでやられました。完敗です。一から出直します。— 佐藤豪則 takenori sato (@takenori0608) February 16, 2014
(I'm sorry, I was done with no good place. Is a complete defeat. I will start over.)
Andy Ogle (@thelittleaxe) February 16, 2014
30-27 come on.I never stopped moving forward.Control and aggression doesnt mean shit anymore but whateva trinaldo is a beast. Hats off 2 him— Jesse Ronson (@Ronsoff) February 16, 2014
Time e família reunida antes da luta . Muito obrigado a todos pelas mensagens antes e depois da luta .... http://t.co/CB1t42CMPP— Wilson Reis (@wilsonreis7) February 16, 2014
Congrats to the new Invicta signees.
rachael ostovich (@rachaelostovich) February 15, 2014
Delaney Owen (@scrappydl) February 12, 2014
Hard works beats talent, on our way to train.— Mellony Geugjes (@mgeugjes) February 16, 2014
Valerie Letourneau (@ValTroubleMMA) February 15, 2014
One of my dreams come true. Now it's time for the next challenge...!!! :) pic.twitter.com/2jmXASfEKk— KarolinaKowalkiewicz (@KarolinaMMA) February 9, 2014
Life is so crazy and exciting all in one :-) wicked http://t.co/C4p5iJ7oH4— Faith Van Duin (@faithimmortal) February 15, 2014
Amber Brown (@AmberBrown505) February 12, 2014
But is this a new pic?
Estou voltando . pic.twitter.com/QXis1oNSv7— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) February 16, 2014
Uncle Creepy seems cool with it.
Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) February 14, 2014
That's a tough brother assignment.
khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) February 16, 2014
Announced this weekend (Feb. 14-16 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Da Headbanger.
Try to keep your cool fight fans. Two weeks after the UFC set a record with 10 decisions at an event at UFC 169, they end up getting 10 decisions at UFC Fight Night 36. Dana White was cranky enough (probably an understatement) after UFC 169, I'm sure that he is just a bit more peeved this time around. Out of those 10 decisions, only one was a real stinker and most offered some pretty good action. Could the event have been better. Well... yeah. And some finishes certainly would have helped with that sentiment. So was the event a disaster? Hell no! Quit concentrating on what wasn't there and pay attention to what was there.
The biggest development to come out of Fight Night 36 is Lyoto Machida walked away with a victory and as a result should get a middleweight title shot as Dana White said he would likely get if he won. White has been known to promise those before only to rescind them and has done so to Machida before. So we'll have to wait and see how that development plays out. I could see White pulling it back due to the fact Machida didn't get a finish, but Machida did go for some kill shots that just didn't do the trick and dominated the fight. There is no good reason Machida shouldn't get next.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.