UFC 168 will forever be remembered for its absurd main event outcome which saw Anderson Silva unsuccessfully rematch Chris Weidman after a freak accident left Silva’s leg badly broken in round 2.
What most won’t remember from that night is a middleweight fight that took place on the prelims between Uriah Hall and Chris Leben.
The fight marked Hall’s first win inside the Octagon as he TKO’d Leben. The win for Hall was one dictated by Leben who called a stop to the fight after the first round, a round that he was out-struck and eventually stunned in.
This win for Hall isn’t exactly what he had hoped for as he expressed his discontent in the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, but he looked fantastic as he bounced around away from Leben with his hands down and a lightening fast jab to counter anything that Leben had to offer.
Leben was totally undone after the first round and asked his corner if he had been knocked out in the first round. It was a slightly frightening moment given the man’s reputation for taking a beating during fights which unfortunately is what come to expect and enjoy when Leben is about to fight.
When the fight was called as the prelims returned from a commercial break, I am ashamed to say that I was a bit disappointed at first. I then heard the reasoning behind Leben’s stoppage and applauded a man who thought he had gone unconscious, calling a fight off in what I consider an intelligible and responsible decision.
Leben owes us nothing and has been through enough bumps and bruises to know when his body is ready to take a break. Win or lose he has absorbed punishment from all comers. Only four of his losses are by knockout but again, even in victory Leben left a fight relatively scathed.
A retirement may just be in order.
I’m not saying that he couldn’t hold his own but at this point, well there just isn’t a reason for him to carry on. Let him go coach and sell appearances as a fan favorite like himself can do.
This sport that we love has become one that has its fair share of brutality on each card but there is a sense of stability and measured aggression that comes with the violence with fighters who are at such high levels of their respective disciplines. We don’t need someone coming in to a fight who fans expect to watch get punished, even if he ends up winning a fight.
Leben is really what the UFC defines as a true fighter, someone who leaves it all in the Octagon in any given fight. But perhaps instead of leaving everything in that 8-sided cubicle that Leben made a living in, he should save some for retired life and lay back on the name he has made for himself so that he can live with the fact that he did what was best for the health he has left now because win or lose, the Octagon forgives no one. Not even the Crippler.
For more UFC 168 coverage visit SciFighting.com.