Veteran fighter Chris “The Crippler” Leben has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts after a 12-year career.
“It’s been a fantastic, wonderful ride,” said Leben, as quoted by MMA Fighting. “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.”
“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,” he added.
“And now, yes I can say, I’ve really retired from competing in MMA.”
Leben is retiring with a record of 22 wins and 11 losses, with 12 wins coming by knockout. He lost four of his last five UFC fights, including a knockout loss at the hands of young up-and-comer Uriah Hall at UFC 168.
“I’m 33 years old now, which isn’t the oldest for a fighter. But like I tell people, it’s not how old you are, but it’s how long you’ve been doing it,” he said.
“I’ve been doing this game for quite a while. I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me. I would like to still have my head on my shoulders and have a brain when I’m raising kids and doing all the other stuff that I want to be a part of,” he added.
“I think it might just be time for me to gracefully bow out.”