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But it cost him ... dearly.
That's because "The Crippler" flattened him with a looping left hand followed by a few vicious uppercuts. As Leben stated at the post-fight press conference, in fairness, those big punches probably would have dropped anybody.
But Silva isn't just anybody.
He's a longtime veteran who turns 35-years-old today. He's also suffered four brutal knockout losses his last eight fights. We're talking shut the lights off, ain't nobody home, brutal.
UFC President Dana White believes it's time for the old Pride killer to hang 'em up. If he has to go the Chuck Liddell route of retirement, he may end up doing just that.
"Well, I was cheering for Chris (Leben). I don't have any ill will towards Wanderlei (Silva). I hope he's okay. He can't do this work. This isn't a line of work that he's going to... he just can't do this work. I certainly wish him well. I hope he's okay. Yeah, (I'm surprised the fight ended that quickly). The only guy that would have finished him quicker was me. ... Wanderlei is going to need to do something else. I don't have any interest in getting in there with him. I don't want to be the next guy to force him to have a flashlight shined in his eyes."
As easy as it is to root for a fighter like Silva, a fan-friendly, exciting and over-the-top insane competitor, it's difficult to argue with Sonnen's logic.
A record of 2-6 in his past eight fights, with four coming by way of knockout and the other two after three-round slugfests, the damage is piling up.
The human head is only equipped to take so much damage.
There comes a time when all the greats must realize the game, like it or not, has passed them by. It's still slightly up for debate if Silva has reached this point but he's definitely not going in the right direction.
When even Chael Sonnen doesn't want to fight you, it might really be time to retire.
What do you think, Maniacs? Is it time for Silva to call it a career?