Following Cryptic Tweet, Trainer Says Chris Leben Still Unsure About Retirement

December 31, 2013
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Chris Leben and Patrick Cote at The Ultimate FighterChris Leben picked up his fourth loss in a row last Saturday at UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2, which led many to question if the 11-year veteran would continue fighting going forward.

After the first round in his loss to Uriah Hall, Leben told his corner “I’m done,” bringing an end the fight and adding to the curiosity about his future.

On Sunday, Leben traveled back with his team to his home in San Diego and opened up to his Twitter followers with an obscure message that gave some light about what steps he plans on taking next.

“Time to start a new chapter in my life,” Leben wrote, adding, “I’ve landed the most strikes in the UFC. It was a good run. Wouldn’t change a thing.”

And although he may be off in his assessment of his total strikes landed – Leben is officially ranked third for total strikes, behind Jon Fitch and Georges St-Pierre, according to FightMetric.com – the tides appear to be changing for Leben’s career.

Retirement is still unclear, despite the tweet. The fighter is currently unsure about his future, according to his trainer, Eric Del Fierro, and a decision about hanging up the gloves is yet to be made.

“He hasn’t decided yet,” Del Fierro told MMAWeekly.com, adding that he saw to it that Leben returned home.

A win has escaped Leben for two and a half years. The consecutive-loss streak might come from the notion that winning off toughness alone is a thing of the past, he wrote on social media. In praising the performance of the man who just beat him, Leben said the new breed of fighters is on another level.

“Way to go, @UriahHallMMA,” he wrote. “Next generation of this sport: real athletes.”

If Leben steps away, it will probably come as a result of his own desire. UFC President Dana White said at the UFC 168 post-fight press conference that he applauds fighters like Leben, who come forward for “knock-down, drag-them-out wars.”

Will the UFC executive cut Leben? Likely not.

“We don’t cut guys like that,” White said.

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  • inyourfacex54

    How is that a “cryptic” tweet?

    • Advance*

      It might mean he knows the UFC is going to cut him so he’ll fight elsewhere, but it definitely sounds like retirement. I also don’t think the “We don’t cut guys like that” comment was directed at Leben. Dana was talking about Bobby Voelker.

      Another great article.

  • BobLemons

    He’s right that he’s not up to the athletic, tactical game of modern mma. I’d like to see the UFC match him up for fun fights he can win with his style, with no intention of him climbing the ranks. I love Leben and would like to see him fight again, but I respect his decision if he calls it a day.

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    Dana wasnt talking about Leben when he said “we dont cut guys like that”

    • Jon

      He was talking about guys LIKE Leben, who don’t get on their bicycles and instead look to finish.

  • Bouncer

    I don’t think he’s done with, he actually looked pretty good. I don’t think he’ll ever win the title but he can still be put against good brawlers. Uriah was a terrible matchup for Leben.

  • George Sperry

    Not sure of the order but John Fitch is either 1st or 2nd in total strikes landed in the UFC. Not bad for a guy who casual MMA fans say just “lays and prays”.

  • Maddawgmar

    Leben needs to retire, he hasn’t brought any new skill set to one of his fights in a while, he just won’t be able to keep up with the new breed.

    • El Gvapo

      Do you not think he can play a part in testing the new breed though, much as he did in this fight with Hall? He’s obviously not going to trouble the rankings but he can play a part still in my opinion, even if its only to get beaten up by an up n’comer.

      • Maddawgmar

        I don’t even see him as a gatekeeper. Maybe you can have him greet UFC first timers, but I hate to see him thrown into a role like that. He wasn’t even a test for Hall, I think he landed 2 strikes the entire fight. I think he needs to decide if that’s what he is comfortable doing.

  • Floyd Wilcox

    No! He’s important and this is why! He’s the perfect Gatekeeper, not “World Champ” material but not a bitch either. He’s the guy you put a would be contender in with to see if he’s the real deal. We need guys like him to separate the men from the boys.

    • Me

      That’s who he used to be. Now he’s a punching bag and it’s irresponsible for his employer to not say otherwise. It’s his life and if he wants to kill whatever brain cells remain that’s on him but as his employer it’s irresponsible of the UFC to be a part of that. He’s at that stage where every time he steps in the Octagon it’s nothing but more damage done and allowing him to do so under the Zuffa banner for nothing more than highlight and promo reel fodder is unethical. It’s the human equivalent of beating a dead horse, literally.

      • Floyd Wilcox

        Yeah! I guess your right! I hate to see him go though!

  • R2

    “We don’t cut guys like that.”

    SURE YOU DON’T, Dana…SURE. YOU. DON’T.

  • DaniloLedezma

    This guy is pure hear… He still keep fighting, but maybe not at UFC level, should look for another enterprise.