Chris 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.
(Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter)