A UFC veteran and cast member of the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter, Chris “the Crippler” Leben‘s return to fighting has been nixed following the discovery that he has a severe heart condition.
Leben has a condition that has limited the blood flow through his heart to what is estimated at roughly 18-percent of what is considered normal. Bellator on Tuesday confirmed the news to MMAWeekly.com, which was first reported by Swedish website MMANYTT.
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A prepared statement explained Leben’s current health situation:
“In early February of this year, UFC veteran Chris ‘The Crippler/ Leben announced he was coming out of retirement to compete for Bellator MMA. As part of the signing process, and in preparation for a potential spring match-up, Leben underwent a battery of medical tests. Unfortunately, these test have revealed a serious condition in his heart. As a result, the slugger and fan favorite will likely never compete again.
“Concerns were first raised when Leben failed several EKG tests during his physical examinations. He was then directed to take an echocardiogram, a sonogram of the heart. This analysis showed a life-threatening abnormality. The left ventricle of his heart is oversized, misshapen and is not operating properly. Doctors estimate that the blood flow through is heart is only 18% of what is considered normal.
“Doctors immediately prescribed a combination of drugs, which they hope will prevent a catastrophic cardiac event. As of now, 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.
“Doctors ….View full article