Leben’s reputation started when he appeared on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter, a reality show and competition where hopeful fighters live together and vie for a UFC contract and a path to greatness. He quickly made a name for himself with his controversial and abrasive behavior. All the way through his subsequent ten-year career in ultimate fighting, Leben became some of the recognized figures in the sport, enthralling audiences around the world with his wild, head-first style of fighting as he took on probably the most world’s best fighters, including Anderson Silva, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Wanderlei Silva.
But Leben’s success in the ring and international fame hid a troubled background. Abandoned by his father at a young age, Leben’s mother worked long hours to raise him and his two siblings, and Leben learned early he had to be tough to fend for himself. For most of his life, Leben struggled with alcohol and narcotics, and he was suspended by the UFC for nine months for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The Crippler is not just an exciting account of his rise to prominence within the UFC; it’s the improbable story of a renowned wild man dealing with his personal demons and learning that the toughest opponent is at all times yourself.
Skyhorse Publishing, in conjunction with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. Whilst not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are once in a while overlooked and to authors whose work might not in a different way find a home.