"The Crippler," long known as one of the toughest, most relentless fighters on the UFC's roster, begged his corner to stop the fight from his stool between Rounds 1 and 2, signaling the end of the fight and, potentially, Leben's career.
Hall looked three steps ahead of Leben throughout the bout, and he again flashed the brilliance we saw from him during his stint on The Ultimate Fighter.
With a crushing right hand as Round 1 came to a close, Hall sent Leben to the canvas and teed off with some ground-and-pound shots just before the horn. As Leben stumbled to his corner, microphones caught him asking if he was knocked out and saying "I'm done."
If this was Leben's last fight inside the Octagon, it paints a somber scene, leaving a memory of a man who was broken and battered rather than tough and resilient, as he had been for the majority of his career.
What We'll remember About This Fight
Leben quit. That's just...amazing.
During his stint with the UFC, he has come back from the brink of defeat to win, but he simply did not have a comeback in him against Hall.
While Hall earned the finish, Leben was hardly a sharp and polished fighter. Still, the former The Ultimate Fighter standout showed that he can finish a fight under the bright lights of a marquee UFC card. That was a crucial revelation to ensure a successful future in the world's premiere MMA organization.
What We Learned About Leben
Leben can quit. He looks done at this point in his career, and he made a wise decision to shorten his night against Hall.
He looked sluggish throughout the bout, and he did absolutely nothing to show that he has anything left to give at this point.
UFC President Dana White has pushed fighters toward retirement in the past (see: Liddell, Chuck), and I expect a similar talk to occur with Leben in the near future.
What We Learned About Hall
We did not learn much about Hall here, aside from the fact that he could live up to expectations.
We knew he was a vicious striker, we knew he could knock dudes out, and we expected him to pick Leben apart.
That's exactly what happened.
What's Next for Leben?
Retirement (I hope).
What's Next for Hall?
Hall is still an intriguing prospect, and he will get a decent opponent in his next outing.
A fight against Lorenz Larkin would provide fireworks for fans, and it would show which man is ready to take the next step up the 185-pound ladder.