Chris Leben still has not been paid for his bout with World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation back in 2018. Now he will be pursuing legal action against the company.
After fighting for the first time in five years, and winning by knockout, Leben only earned a tenth of his purse. Monday morning he filed lawsuit for $90,000 in the San Diego Superior Court. He claims that the WBKFF only paid a deposit of $10,000 of his $100,000 purse.
Leben was only one of the fighters who were not paid by the owner of the company, Tomasz Stankiewicz. Stankiewicz was sentenced to one year in prison, last week following a guilty plea for wire fraud in Illinois.
It was widely believed that Stankiewicz never intended to pay Leben, or the other fighters on this card. This comes despite what WBKFF President, Bas Rutten, has publicly stated. There were reports of some fighters getting paid a few hundred dollars, while others not at all.
Chris Leben has since signed with the Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC). He is not scheduled for a bout yet with the promotion. BKFC has been making moves, having recently signed Boxing Champion, Paulie Malignaggi, and former UFC Featherweight Artem Lobov.
Included in the list of fighters that were taken advantage of by WBKFF are former UFC Champion Johny Hendricks, and Leben’s opponent Phil Baroni. Narrowly avoiding the same situation were Brennan Ward, and ex-NFL athlete Shawne Merriman. Currently Leben is the only fighter who is known that is taking legal action against the promotion.