UFC 155 Fight Card: Loss to Derek Brunson Should Be Chris Leben's Last in UFC

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2012

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derek Brunson (top) strikes Chris Leban (bottom) during UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It's time that Chris Leben's time in UFC drew to a close.

Upon his return to the Octagon, Leben lost a unanimous decision to Derek Brunson at UFC 155. The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28 and 29-28 in favor of Brunson.

It was Brunson's first fight in UFC and Leben's first in over a year after his drug suspension.

He might have not had the advantage of being able to plan much for Brunson, considering he was a last-minute replacement, but Brunson wasn't the most intimidating of opposition. He had lost his last two fights before debuting in UFC.

Leben was outwrestled by Brunson in what will have to be remembered as one of the most disappointing fights on the card. He has dazzled crowds in the Octagon for years. In his prime, Leben was one of the most exciting fighters in UFC. His fights were guaranteed to be remembered by fans.

Leben has been around UFC for quite a while now. His first fight with the company was back in 2005 at the finale of The Ultimate Fighter. When you throw in his previous experience, he's been in MMA for a decade.

Ten years might not be much for some competitors, but for Leben it probably feels like twice that amount.

However, during his time in UFC and MMA in general, he's managed to put a ton of mileage on his body. Then you have to throw in the damage that drugs and alcohol have done to his body.

When you add it all up, you have to wonder what the future holds for him.

Leben has now lost his last two fights and three of his last four. Despite his long layoff, Leben was almost the consensus favorite to defeat Brunson.

He looked very poor at times during the fight. The action between the two was so bad at times that the crowed resorted to booing the competitors.

Ring rust might be used to defend the loss for Leben. To an extent, it makes quite a bit of sense. It would be hard for any fighter to go a year without a fight to then come back and do well.

But you also have to look at Brunson's record and the nerves he was carrying into his UFC debut.

The tank might not be completely empty for Leben, but there's no sense in continuing what looks to be a downward slide.

He may not have been the biggest name in the company, but he's likely made enough money to live pretty well. Leben could also likely have a nice career outside the Octagon.

Leben has made a career out of taking a ton of punishment. That's not the kind of strategy that lends itself to a long career. The longer he fights continuing this way, it's only going to get worse.