Chris Leben pens letter to fans about UFC retirement, will now coach Victory MMA in San Diego

USA TODAY Sports

Chris Leben's legacy is open to debate, but his career in mixed martial arts (MMA) will live on. In an open letter to his fans posted on Facebook, "The Crippler" laid out his future in the fight game.

Chris Leben fought for more than one decade inside the fabled Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon.

The 22-11 middleweight, who lost five of his last six bouts (including his most recent against Uriah Hall at UFC 168) hung em' up during an appearance on The MMA Hour earlier this week (details).

While it seems that at least for now, the 33-year-old has called it quits in regards to fighting, he will still be prevalent when it comes to mixed martial arts (MMA).

In a Facebook post "The Crippler" dropped on Tuesday, he laid out his future plans in detail and thanked those who have supported him along the way:

"Dear fans:

Man, it's been a long couple weeks pondering this real big decision. My career was one hell of a roller coaster ride. Highs and lows and everything in between, but I wouldn't change anything. It's made me who I am today. And without all of you, there's no way I could have got through it. The facebook, tweets, emails, all the people that stood behind me through the ups and downs, you were my motivation and my drive. Thank you. But I gotta say, I've had the most fights in the middleweight division, I've landed the most strikes in the UFC, certainly don't have the best record, but my opponents always knew they were getting in a fight! The UFC is the cream of the crop. The UFC athletes are getting better every year. I survived almost 10 years in the gauntlet that we call the UFC. It's my time to bow out from competing, certainly not from this sport. Time for me to make the switch over to coaching, cornering, and helping younger fighters in any way I can. If you're in San Diego, I'll be coaching the team at Victory, please stop in and drop by to say hi. Yeah, I'm not going to make this a tear jerker, I'm gonna miss it, I'm going to miss you guys, thank you so much! Peace i'm out! LOL"

Leben will be taking the helm at Victory MMA, where he will coach alongside former PRIDE FC and UFC middleweight Dean Lister. A number of reputable and recently successful fighters currently call Victory their home, a list that includes Jeremy Stephens, Myles Jury, KJ Noons and Pascal Krauss, among others.

Will Leben experience results similar to Duane Ludwig, after "Bang" lost three straight and stepped away from the sport to take up instruction?

Time will tell.

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