When Chris Leben was blasting adversaries into outer-space as a fresh-faced slugger off TUF he was a “must see” Mixed Martial Artist. Unfortunately, it’s been a long time since “The Crippler” was “The Cat Smasher”. He’s dropped four of his last five fights including decision defeats to Andrew Craig and Derek Brunson. Though Leben has a longer leash than some athletes based on his ties to the Ultimate Fighter and fanbase, another defeat to an inferior competitor will make it hard for the UFC to justify keeping him around and Leben isn’t likely to take his talents to the regional scene, making it time for the beloved brawler to call it a career.
Every Mixed Martial Artist enters the cage with an understanding that the effort could mark his/her final effort based on the dangers involved. However, there are also certain competitors who need to consider a career beyond fighting based on age coupled with recent production. The following list features five such individuals who have delivered high doses of entertainment over the past decade but should seriously give retirement a thought after another outing or two in 2014… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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