MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Chris Leben Retires From MMA

chris-leben The original TUF bad boy has called it quits. Middleweight Chris “The Crippler” Leben announced Monday on The MMA Hour that he is officially retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts. Leben, 33, retires with a 22-11 mark in MMA, including a 12-10 record inside the UFC Octagon. However, he lost five of his last six fights and in his last outing, against Uriah Hall at UFC 168, he quit on the stool after eating a massive punch right to the chin that rocked him badly. According to Leben, he will move over to the coaching and training side of the game of MMA, something he says is a passion of his. A veteran of the Pacific Northwest and California MMA scenes, Leben started his MMA career in 2002 and racked up nine-straight wins, including a KO over future UFC middleweight Mike Swick at WEC 9. After losing his first career fight to Joe Doerksen in 2004, Leben rebounded with an epic victory over Benji Radach at SportFight 4 that saw him catch the eye of the UFC. Leben was put into the original TUF house and that’s where fans most remember him from, as the troubled youngster who packed a punch. Although Leben lost to Josh Koscheck and Kenny Florian on the reality show, he earned himself a contract with the UFC and racked up five-straight victories before being placed in a title eliminator matchup against Anderson Silva at UFC Fight Night 5. Leben was destroyed in seconds by Silva, but he rebounded nicely with a KO win over Jorge Santiago and then went on to have an up-and-down UFC career that saw him collect six Knockout of the Night and Fight of the Night Awards, including a FOTN award for his amazing three-round fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116, still arguably one of the most exciting fights in UFC history. In his 33-fight MMA career, Leben defeated the following notable fighters: Wanderlei Silva, Akiyama, Aaron Simpson, Santiago, Alessio Sakara, Patrick Cote, Jorge Rivera, and Swick. Not a bad resume at all. However, with Leben, the good came with the bad. Although he was a supremely-exciting fighter inside the cage, he had his demons outside of it, and was suspended on multiple occasions for performance-enhancing drug use. The first time came after his decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 89, where he popped for steroids; the second came at UFC 138, where he tested positive for oxy-morphine and oxycodone. His issues with substance abuse were well documented, but he has sobered up the last few years and became a better man once he did. Leben will go down as one of the most fun-to-watch brawlers ever step to foot in the Octagon, and it’s only fitting his biggest career win came over Wanderlei Silva, the other most notable brawler in UFC history. “The Cripper” has given all of us some great memories over the years, and we at wish him farewell and good luck in his future endeavours.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

WSOF’s Justin Gaethje Has Superstar Potential

UFC on FOX 10 Full Opening Betting Odds