Wanderlei Silva's future uncertain
From what UFC president Dana White saw, there's no reason for Silva to enter the cage again.
Silva fell victim to a first-round knockout Saturday, his sixth loss in eight fights, four of which have come by knockout. During fight week, the 35-year-old said he'd like to continue fighting for the next five years, but it's become clear his body might not hold that long.
"We knew him and Leben were going to come out and fight until somebody fell down and it was Wanderlei tonight," White said.
"People love him so much because of the way he fights but this is probably the end of the road for Wanderlei."
Leben (26-7) said the early punch he landed on Wanderlei's temple would have put any UFC middleweight out.
Although he publicly questioned whether or not Silva's chin was as sturdy as it once was before the fight, Leben said the knockout was not indicative of any decline in his opponent.
"Wanderlei Silva can do whatever he wants. He's solid," Leben said. "I hit him pretty damn hard. I don't think anybody would have stayed up."
Silva (33-11-1) has enjoyed a storied career as a mixed martial artist. He left his greatest impression while fighting in Pride, where he took out notable opponents such as Dan Henderson, Quinton Jackson and Kazushi Sakuraba.
White didn't go so far as to say he'd force Silva out of the UFC. The two will likely meet next week in Las Vegas, where Silva lives and trains at his personal gym.
The UFC president has expressed a desire for certain fighters to hang it up before, only to end up booking them another fight. He did so earlier this year with Mirko Filipovic (27-9-2), who is expected to compete again despite suffering vicious knockout losses in his last two fights.
White did say, however, he would do his best to nudge Silva in the direction of retirement, much like he did to former champion Chuck Liddell.
"I think it's one of those ones where I'd like to sit down and talk to him," White said. "Kind of Chuck Liddell him into it. The guy has nothing left to prove. He's a warrior and people love him all over the world.
"I just don't want to see that happen to him anymore."
Brett Okamoto covers MMA for ESPN.com.