by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Chris Leben on Wednesday turned himself in to Clackamas County officials in Oregon. Leben had a warrant out for his arrest stemming from a probation violation.
Leben has recently been living in Hawaii and is the head trainer at the ICON Fitness and MMA Center operated by ICON promoter T.Jay Thompson.
“When Chris moved to Hawaii, he was in the process of completing classes for his probation on an old DUI in Portland, Oregon,” said Thompson in an email to MMAWeekly.com. “We worked hard to get his probation transferred to Hawaii, but were unsuccessful.”
Denied the probation transfer, Leben continued to reside in Hawaii, and a warrant was issued for the violation.
Up to this point, Leben had been fighting solely in the U.S., so the violation was not an issue when he traveled. He was recently offered and accepted a bout against Michael Bisping for the UFC 85 event in London, however, and must apply for a visa to travel to the U.K. The probation violation will be considered in the visa process and could influence the decision whether or not to issue Leben a visa.
“When he got the call to fight Bisping on June 7 in London, he knew what he had to do,” said Thompson.
“He immediately flew to Oregon and turned himself in on the probation violation. The warrant was a ‘no bail’ warrant, so he will have to sit in jail for 8-10 days before he gets a hearing. The moment he appeared before the judge after turning himself in the warrant was revoked and he is able to get his visa for London.”
He continued, “The actions (Chris) took to make this fight happen in London show this growth. Chris would like everyone to know he accepts responsibility for his past actions and will face the consequences and continue forward on his journey.”
Although Thompson appeared upbeat, Leben turning himself in is not an assurance of a favorable result. The outcome of his hearing before a judge and any penalties imposed will way heavily on whether or not Leben will be able to secure a visa.
Leben’s fight with Bisping was still listed on the UFC 85 event page at the time of publication.