UFC Middleweight Chris Leben faces late replacement Derek Brunson at UFC 155 on Saturday, December 29 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Leben failed a post-fight drug test following his last UFC bout against Mark Munoz and is coming off a year's suspension and a bout in a drug rehab facility.
Leben spoke with MMA Fighting's Dave Meltzer:
"It's been a long struggle, not just pain medicine, but drug and alcohol abuse, and I've had it through my entire career. Some fights I was doing better than other fights. Things came to a head. My last fight was more of a cry for help.
"I knew I was going to get caught. I knew I wasn't supposed to be doing what I did. Thank God for (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and (UFC President) Dana White. They helped me. I broke the rules. They suspended me for one year. It's not like I was trying to cheat. I had a problem and an issue. They sent me to rehab. I needed a month of inpatient rehab, and went directly to outpatient treatment. I've continued to focus on my treatment. That's a continual battle in that fight. I take it one day at a time. I haven't taken a pain pill since. I've continued to be drug and alcohol free."
Leben had originally been scheduled to face Karlos Vemola at UFC 155 but the injured Vemola had to bow out of the bout.