UFC middleweight Chris Leben is the proud owner of a new gym in the Aloha state. After moving to the island in 2007 to take on the role of head coach at ICON Sport gym in Oahu, he is striking out on his own as the owner of Ultimate Fight School in Honolulu. The gym is two blocks away from the University of Hawaii campus, and Leben says its name leaves no confusion to curious parties.
“I’ve been coaching for for other people for so long,” he told MMAInsider. “I’m just happy to be at a place where I pick the music, and I pick how I get to train people. I couldn’t be happier.”
Leben says he’ll be ready to fight in July, when his UFC suspension ends. Following UFC 89, Leben was the second fighter suspended by the promotion for performance enhancing drugs.
“It was a setback,” Leben says of the punishment. “I realized I don’t have time for setbacks. I’ve got to do it the old fashion way, just work, work, work. It’s water under the bridge.”
He’ll have the same routine for fight camps, flying training partners to his gym, then making the trek to his original home, AMC Pankration, in the 5 to 6 weeks before a fight. Now, he’s training six days a week.
If the UFC decides to open one of their branded gyms in his neighborhood, he won’t worry.
“I don’t think it can hurt anything,” he says. “Anything that brings more attention to our sport is a good thing. There’s a lot of excitement around the school on campus.”
The website for Leben’s gym is www.ultimatefightschool.com.