Original Ultimate Fighter cast member Chris Leben retires


He may not have be going with the bang he would have likely preferred, but The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 cast member and UFC middleweight Chris “The Crippler” Leben is retiring from mixed martial arts. The 12 year veteran, with 33 fights under his belt, made the announcement in an interview with Ariel Helwani on today’s edition of The MMA Hour.

Original Ultimate Fighter cast member Chris Leben retires

Chris “The Crippler” Leben (22-11) rose to prominence with the UFC as it began its meteoric rise during and after the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. While he first appeared to be emotionally volatile during the show, “The Crippler” would endear himself to the fans with an initial 5 fight win streak with the big show, a streak that would last until he found himself opposite a debuting Anderson Silva. After that, Leben would become something of a .500 fighter, getting enough wins to stay employed even though he’d never get a sniff at title contention. Things went downhill for Leben in 2011, where after gaining a historic victory over Wanderlei Silva, he would fall to Mark Munoz in what would be the 1st of 4 consecutive losses. Through 2012 and 2013, violent losses to Derek Brunson, Andrew Craig, and Uriah Hall would pile up, and lead Leben to making the decision to end his competitive career.

In addition to his fights in the UFC, Leben would also struggle with the demons of addiction. He was arrested for DUIs in 2008 and 2010, with the 2008 incident seeing him spend 35 days in jail. “The Crippler” was also suspended twice in his career for failing drug tests: Once for the steroid stanazolol, and later for painkillers oxycodone and oxymorphone. Despite his vices, Chris did take positive steps outside of the cage. He spent a few years coaching at ICON Fight School in Oahu, Hawaii before moving back to the mainland in 2013, and has a bright future ahead of him due to his good relationship with the UFC.

MMASucka would like to thank Chris Leben for his time in the cage, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

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Justin Pierrot is's resident musicologist and TUF aficionado. When not looking after his family or writing his weekly pieces, he's making music as Stormland or building Gundam models.

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