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Is Johnny Damon a Hall of Famer? All signs point to yes

There's no time like the present to say that Johnny Damon is a Hall of Famer.

The 2018 Hall of Fame ballot is stacked! Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero are almost guaranteed to see 75 percent come this time next year. While first time candidates like Chipper Jones and Jim Thome appear to be shoo-ins. There are others on the ballot like multiple World Series champion, Johnny Damon whose greatness will produce a heated debate amongst those holding the key to baseball immortality.

What happens outside the cage is priority for The Crippler

Chris “The Crippler” Leben, is a name so synonymous with the UFC and MMA, you’d think they were made for each other.

Leben’s rise in the professional ranks started on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter where he trained with a who's who of elite fighters that helped shaped the industry into what it is today; Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, Diego Sanchez, and Kenny Florian. Prior to TUF, The Crippler was the inaugural WEC Middleweight Champion. He defeated fellow TUF fighter, Swick.

His career flourished in the UFC winning 12 fights by TKO or KO and five by submission, and has stepped in the ring with a laundry list of superstars like Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, Wanderlei Silva, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Mark Munoz. At UFC 116 he defeated Akiyama (his second fight in two weeks) in spectacular fashion earning Fight of the Night honours.

However, outside of the ring Leben was battling drug and alcohol addiction while trying to maintain a lifestyle that requires 100 percent focus. His book recounts a struggle that many deal with on a personal level, but not as publicly as Leben.

At The GM’s Perspective we were able to speak with him about his new book, his life in one of the most exciting sports in the world, and how he is using his past indiscretions as a platform to help others.

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Miles Jury