Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Chris Leben has lost four straight fights inside the Octagon and five of his last six, a far cry from the start of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career under the ZUFFA banner when he won five straight.
I guess the days of winning on TUFness alone are over.
That was a sentiment echoed by "The Crippler" when he threw in the towel at the end of the opening frame against Uriah Hall during the UFC 168 pay-per-view (PPV) event last Saturday night (Dec. 28, 2013) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (results here).
But was that the last time we'll see him inside the cage?
UFC President Dana White told the media during the UFC 168 post-fight press conference (watch it) that it was a little early to make a decision on Leben's future, perhaps waiting for the hard-hitting 185-pounder to make up his own mind about where he goes from here.
"Chris is a tough guy, and I know how bad he wanted to come back and how bad he wanted to fight. It was a perfect fight for him against Uriah. You know how tough Chris is, and for Chris to quit on the stool, he was hurt. The guy's not making a [retirement] decision right there on the spot. You look at it before the fight happens, and you say, ‘Yeah, these guys both need to win this fight,' but you never know what's going to happen in a fight. The fight could be a knock down, drag them out war, that at the end of the day you have so much respect for the guys you wouldn't want to cut either guy. So I don't really look at it that way. I wait and see what happens."
Despite a career that spans over 30 fights, Leben is just 33 years old and has experienced an up-and-down career that includes substance abuse and a steroids suspension. Should he throw in the towel ... this time for good?