Chris Leben Announces Retirement from MMA After 22-Bout UFC Tenure

By Tristen Critchfield Jan 20, 2014
Chris Leben’s bout at UFC 168 was his last. |

Chris Leben is hanging up his gloves after an 11-year professional career that included 22 bouts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Leben officially announced his retirement during Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.

“It’s been a fantastic, wonderful ride. I’ve landed more strikes than anybody out there. Definitely highs and lows, ups and downs, but I think I’m starting to realize that, for me, it might be time to make that transition away from competing and get more on the coaching side of things,” Leben told Ariel Helwani.

“After [UFC 168], I wanted to go back and re-evaluate things, make sure that the decision wasn’t based purely on emotion. That it was really what I wanted to do. And now, yes, I can say, I’ve really retired from competing in MMA.”

Leben was an integral figure in the UFC’s growth. One of the most polarizing figures on Season 1 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Leben’s in-house feud with fellow cast members Josh Koscheck and Bobby Southworth helped to generate interest in the reality show.

His heavy-handed, brawling style made him a fan favorite during his tenure with the promotion, where he posted a 12-10 mark with notable wins over Patrick Cote, Jorge Rivera, Aaron Simpson, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Wanderlei Silva, to name a few.

Leben also battled his share of demons. He was arrested for an alcohol-related offense in 2008 and for suspicion of DUI in 2010. He also tested positive for oxy-morphine and oxycodone following a loss to Mark Munoz at UFC 138. Leben was previously suspended by the UFC in October 2008 after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol following a three-round decision loss to Michael Bisping.

“The Crippler” struggled upon returning from the year-long suspension, losing three straight bouts. It was after the last of those defeats, in which he retired in his corner after taking a beating in the opening round against Uriah Hall at UFC 168, that Leben elected to call it a career.
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