Chuck Mindenhall’s piece ‘In search of Strange Brew’ has tugged at the heartstrings of even the most hardened UFC competitors. Leben became one of MMA’s most entertaining figures after embracing his role as the house rascal on the hit reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter in 2005. One of the victims who fell prey to Leben’s in-house tomfoolery was gone but not forgotten Jason Thacker, or ‘Strange Brew’.
Thacker was a seal in a shark tank and Chris Leben was quick to smell vulnerable blood. In one of TUF’s most outrageous and original moments, a drunken Leben decided to take a tinkle on ‘Strange Brew’s’ bed. Thacker returned and obliviously slept the night on bedsheets soaked in Leben’s urine. An older and wiser Chris Leben reflected on his menacing behaviour during The Ultimate Fighter season one with Submission Radio:
“Yeah it kinda sucks. I mean I took a look at the article, you know we talked about it on my show and truthfully he wasn’t at the level of the rest of the guys on the show. They brought him in as – reality shows, they have those contrasting characters. You know what I’m saying? I think in a lot of ways, yeah he was a sacrificial lamb, but looking at the article and stuff; I mean I’m older, I hope a little more wiser, a little more experienced, and yeah I know I was a little bit of a d***head on the show, but I just really appreciated that he doesn’t have any resentments. His life is where it’s at and he’s fully accepted it. He doesn’t hold anything against anybody that was on the show – you know, me in particular – which just makes me go man, what a….what a real person. What a stand up guy.”
Leben then expressed his thoughts on Thacker being targeted with abuse when he returned back home to Canada after his early exit from The Ultimate Fighter:
“It’s stupid. God, it’s a tough deal, but you know it’s a cutthroat world. Canada’s a little crazy too. It’s its own beast. The fans in Canada for some reason are just…they’re just over the top, man. They love the sport, but you know that’s…I might have peed on his bed, but I certainly wouldn’t beat him up,” Leben told Submission Radio.
Chuck Mindenhall’s piece documenting Jason Thacker’s life since The Ultimate Fighter has inspired a ‘go fund me’ campaign which has successfully raised $12900 in aid of the struggling Canadian.
Chris Leben retired from the combat sports arena in 2014 after a string of losses signaled the end of a proud career. Leben is currently working on publishing a book which aims to examine his life as a pro fighter.
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