Chris Leben Signs to Face Phil Baroni in World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation

Chris Leben is coming out of retirement to take on veteran brawler Phil Baroni and a bare-knuckle bout with the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation on Oct. 20. Leben made the announcement via Instagram on Tuesday.

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Leben retired from fighting in December 2013 after losing four consecutive bouts.  He announced a return and signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA in February 2016 but his return was scrapped after the discovery of a heart condition. 

“The Crippler” fought in the UFC for eight years and appeared on The Ultimate Fighter 1.  He fought 22 times inside the Octagon.

Baroni came out of retirement in May, knocking out Matt Lagler in King of the Cage.  The 42-year-old has fought in every major MMA promotion including UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, Pride FC, DREAM, and ONE FC, among others.  The bout with Leben takes place in the promotion’s inaugural event in Casper, Wyoming.