April 18, 1980|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||December 17, 2008
Laguna Niguel, California, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)|
|Fighting out of||Newport Beach, California|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Justin Robert Levens (April 18, 1980 – December 17, 2008) was an American mixed martial artist who fought for the UFC and, later in his career, the Southern California Condors of the International Fight League. Levens was a participant in Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting but had not fought with either since 2006. Levens and his wife died from gunshot wounds in mid-December 2008. The incident is a murder-suicide, according to law enforcement officials.
Levens grew up poor in the Philadelphia housing projects and was on his own from age 15. He eventually moved to Newport Beach, California, where he learned to channel his aggressive energy into organized fighting. He began training at Marco Ruas' Vale Tudo academy in Orange County.
Mixed martial arts career
Levens fought from 2004 to 2008, taking the nickname "The Executioner". Levens' first fight was a victory against Hector Carrilo in 2004. He had a string of wins after the Carrilo fight for almost two years.
After his seventh win, he lost to Scott Smith in January 2006. After his loss to Smith, Levens was called in by the UFC to fight former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner, replacing an injured Jeremy Horn on short notice. He lost the fight in the first round by triangle choke submission. Levens next faced prospect Jorge Santiago at UFC Fight Night 6. He lost the fight after getting caught by a knee in the first round. After two straight losses he was cut from the UFC roster. Levens had a declining record for the remainder of his career, interspersed with a pair of back-to-back victories against Justin Hawes and Brian Warren and 5 straight losses, 3 of which were against future UFC fighters.
Levens' last fight was scheduled for July 2008, but did not occur due to time constraints that led to scheduling issues. He tested positive for oxymorphone before the fight and was suspended until January 2009. Friend Tom Atencio said Levens was troubled by his declining career.
Kimbo Luzano, another friend, said Levens may have been depressed about not being able to fight and money issues, as well as troubled by the suicide of fellow MMA fighter and friend Jeremy Williams.
On December 17, 2008, Levens and his wife, Sara McLean-Levens, 25, were found dead in their home in Laguna Niguel, California. Both had died of gunshot wounds; in Levens' case, to his head. The police are investigating the deaths as a possible murder-suicide. No suicide note was found, but a handgun was found close to Leven's body. There were no signs of a struggle.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|17 matches||9 wins||8 losses|
|Loss||9-8||Kenny Ento||Submission (triangle choke)||Palace Fighting Championship 4 - Project Complete||October 18, 2007||1||2:15||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Loss||9-7||Nathan James||Decision (unanimous)||IFO - Wiuff vs. Salmon||September 1, 2007||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||9-6||Brian Foster||TKO (punches)||International Fight League - Chicago||May 19, 2007||1||1:17||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Loss||9-5||Vladimir Matyushenko||TKO (strikes)||IFL - Los Angeles||March 17, 2007||1||3:53||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Loss||9-4||Reese Andy||Decision (unanimous)||IFL - Oakland||January 19, 2007||3||4:00||Oakland, California, United States|
|Win||9-3||Brian Warren||Technical Submission (triangle choke)||BIB - Beatdown in Bakersfield||November 17, 2006||1||2:53||Bakersfield, California, United States|
|Win||8-3||Justin Hawes||TKO (strikes)||WEC 24||October 12, 2006||1||1:28||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Loss||7-3||Jorge Santiago||KO (knee)||UFC Ultimate Fight Night 5||June 28, 2006||1||2:13||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||7-2||Evan Tanner||Submission (triangle choke)||UFC 59||April 15, 2006||1||3:14||Anaheim, California, United States|
|Loss||7-1||Scott Smith||KO (punches)||WEC 18||January 13, 2006||1||1:58||Lemoore, California, United States||For WEC Light Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||7-0||Jorge Oliveira||KO (slam)||WEC 17||October 14, 2005||1||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||6-0||Tony Lopez||Submission (rear naked choke)||WEC 15||May 19, 2005||1||3:46||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||5-0||Tosh Cook||Submission (triangle choke)||GC 35 - Cold Fury||March 13, 2005||1||3:56||Porterville, California, United States|
|Win||4-0||Eber Saulido||TKO||TC 7 - Total Combat 7||January 29, 2005||1||Tijuana, Mexico|
|Win||3-0||Mitch Nester||TKO||GC 33 - Brutal Force||December 12, 2004||1||1:02||Porterville, California, United States|
|Win||2-0||Jeff Dowmam||KO (kick)||GC 28 - Gladiator Challenge 28||June 22, 2004||1||0:09||Porterville, California, United States|
|Win||1-0||Hector Carrilo||TKO||TC 3 - Total Combat 3||May 30, 2004||1||2:00||Tijuana, Mexico|
- Pugmire, Lance; Susannah Rosenblatt (December 18, 2008). "Justin Levens' death may have been part of a murder-suicide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- De Leon, Kris (December 18, 2008). "UFC: Justin Levens and Wife Found Dead". BuddyTV. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "Justin Levens and wife found dead". MMAFighting.com. December 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- Jolly, Vik; Alejandra Molina, Chris Caesar, and Lois Evezich (December 18, 2008). "Martial arts fighter was to be in court day he was found dead". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- Rosenblatt, Susannah (December 18, 2008). "Murder-suicide suspected in death of UFC fighter Justin Levens, wife". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-12-18.[dead link]
- Patton, Vernon (December 18, 2008). "MMA fighter Levens may have shot wife in murder-suicide". International Business Times. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "Martial arts fighter, wife found dead". CNN.com. December 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- Netter, Sarah (December 18, 2008). "Mixed Martial Arts Fighter, Wife Found Dead in Bed". ABC News.