The concept of quitting is a taboo subject in mixed martial arts.
But in the heat of the battle in the Octagon, even some of the toughest human beings on the planet can be brought to their physical and mental breaking point.
To prove it, in this article, we’ll tell the stories of 10 UFC fighters who came to the painful conclusion that they had no other option left but to cast the stigma aside and quit on their stool.
Leben is one of the toughest fighters to have ever set foot in the Octagon, which made it all the most shocking when he waved the white flag following the first round of his fight with Uriah Hall at UFC 168 in late 2013.
The already bloodied Leben, who had a reputation for possessing a granite chin and having the ability to take ungodly amounts of punishment, was attempting to take the fight to Hall in the dying seconds of the opening round when he suddenly ate a lightning-quick right hook flush to the face that floored him with a few more shots connecting cleanly on the mat before the bell saved him.
Leben rose back to his feet like a zombie afterwards and staggered back to his corner dazed and confused, asking his corner if the fight had been stopped.
They assured him that wasn’t the case, but that fact didn’t seem to put his mind at ease.
”I’m done man, I’m done,” Leben suddenly said. “Stop it.”
It was a poignant moment to see such a battle-hardened warrior admit that he had nothing left, and even more so in hindsight given that it would later emerge that Leben really was done.
After all the wars he’d been in over the years, both inside and outside of the cage, ‘The Crippler’s’ memorable career came to an end that night.