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Chris Leben Says His Sobriety Gave Him Focus
Posted by Joseph Lee on 12.18.2012



In an interview with MMA Junkie, Chris Leben (22-8 MMA, 12-7 UFC) says his sobriety has given him new focus as he prepares to fight Karlos Vemola (9-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at UFC 155 in a middleweight fight. Here are highlights:

On his training camp: "This is the best training camp ever. I have more energy and feel stronger now than when I started my pro MMA career. I have changed a lot of things in the past months: my camp, management, diet, attitude. And, most importantly, I'm sober now. I have a good UFC record, but now my focus is on the future. I'm coming back stronger than ever and in my best mindset."

On his sobriety: "It's a one-day-at-a-time kind of thing. It's definitely not in the past for me. I'd be lying to you if I told you the thoughts weren't there if stress doesn't get high and start raising in my life, and instantly my natural reaction is to look for the easy way out. And I don't think that's going away anytime soon absolutely not. Does that mean there's something wrong with me? No. That just means I'm an addict, and I had an issue. I'm trying to change years and years and years of a behavior and a thought process. As long as I don't entertain those thoughts I try to shift my mind and as long as I continue to make the right progress, I think it's OK. I think the test is what I need, and every day I wake up without a hangover, I get a little bit stronger."

On facing Vemola: "I'm not overlooking Vemola as opponent," Leben said. "He is a strong, big guy, but I will finish this fight. This fight will be a clear message that I'm coming for people's heads in the middleweight division."





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