10 MMA Stars Who Fought Back From Life-Threatening Illnesses

Chris Leben

Chris Leben essentially retired from the sport on his stool inbetween rounds during a fight with Uriah Hall in 2013 and declared afterwards that he could no longer keep up with the young up-and-coming talent in the UFC.

However, two years later Leben re-emerged, having just signed a new multi-fight deal with Bellator, but soon after he failed several EKG tests and as a result doctor’s discovered that he had a potentially life-threatening abnormality in his heart, with the left ventricle being oversized and not working correctly.

As a result Leben abandoned his plans to make a comeback and it seemed that his career was now over.

Fast-forward another two years and Leben revealed that doctor’s had now given him the all-clear to compete again, but rather than returning to MMA, ‘The Crippler’ decided to try his hand at bare-knuckle boxing and made his debut in late 2018 with a first round TKO victory over fellow veteran Phil Baroni.

Since then Leben has also racked up a 25 second KO over Justin Baesman and lost a five-round decision against Dakota Cochrane.

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