Despite middleweight Chris Leben’s troubled career it’s easy to end up rooting for the hard-hitting brawler who first emerged in the UFC as a cast-member on the first season of TUF. From the beginning Leben has loved to entertain fans, taking to the Octagon with reckless abandon in hopes of leaving the crowd on their feet and his opponent on the canvas.

Over the years Leben has struggled with substance abuse with the latest incident costing him a year of his career after “The Crippler” tested positive for painkillers following a November 2011 fight. The situation has also been expensive based on the hit to Leben’s income.

“I’m flat-out broke right now,” Leben admitted in an interview with MMAMania. “Being broke sucks. It’s probably one of my biggest things where I just feel terrible. I feel terrible for having put my wife through so much and all because of the poor decisions that I’ve made. The year’s been hard. The year’s been a struggle.”

“The only thing I can say is it’s already happened. It’s water under the bridge,” Leben continued, trying to put a positive spin on his present circumstances. “The only thing I can do now is try to make sure it never happens again in the future and prepare for the future now.”

Leben will make his return to the ring on December 29 at UFC 155 where he’s set to face Karlos Vemola and will undoubtedly contend for Knockout of the Night honors.