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Wanderlei Silva out of 116 with fractured ribs, Chris Leben in

With only a few weeks left before his UFC 116 bout, Wanderlei Silva will have to drop out of his upcoming fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama according to MMA Fighting. Dana White confirmed the story to the site, and a replacement fighter has been confirmed according to MMA Weekly, as Chris Leben will step up and face Akiyama.

Akiyama made his debut at UFC 100, defeating Alan Belcher by split decision in a very close fight. Akiyama’s only loss in MMA came at the hands of Jerome Le Banner and Akiyama has defeated the likes of Kazushi Sakuraba, (Controversially) Dennis Kang, and Melvin Mahoef while fighting in Japan. Interestingly enough, Akiyama was originally scheduled to face Silva at UFC 110, and has reportedly turned down fights against other fighters, insisting on facing the Axe Murderer.

Leben is fighting on two weeks notice after defeating Aaron Simpson at the recent Ultimate Fighter finale last Saturday. He defeated Simpson by TKO in the second round and earned himself a 25,000 dollar Knockout of The Night bonus, his second bonus in the promotion for delivering a hard-hitting knockout. Praise must go to Leben for taking the fight on two weeks notice, which must be a record for replacing a fighter in an upcoming fight.

UFC 116 occurs on July 3 and will emanate from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Props to Leben for stepping in on short notice… he’s an animal.

    But Zuffa can’t be serious for this to be the co-main event… but then again I guess with Brock headlining it really doesn’t make a difference the rest is just filler…Buyrates still going to be astronomical.

  • JOEgun says:

    wow i dont think i have ever heard of a fighter fight so close to his previous fight. i guess Leben really didnt take any damage. Of course i was excited to see the axe murderer but Leben is an exciting replacement too. I picked Leben to defeat Simpson but i think Akiyama will be a much tougher fight for the cripler

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Leben looked great vs Simpson but on just 12 days rest I hope he doest come in flat. Its nice to see the Crippler back.

  • Guthookd says:

    Well, I guess this month’s paychecks are going to add up quick for Chris.

    I’m going with Sexyama on this one; I went with Simpson on the last one though, so my picks are clearly off….consistently.


  • Angry Mike says:

    I like ‘Wand as much as the next MMA fan, but lately it’s more about nostalgia for his brutal style in Pride. Leben is younger and hasn’t taken as much damage, so he’s got a better chin at this point. If Leben’s head is in the game, I think he may be a tougher opponent for Akiyama than an aging Silva. I’ll go with Leben by 2nd round ko/tko.

  • Dufresne says:

    I personally don’t like Akiyama’s style and think he lost that fight to Belcher.

    For this fight I want Leben to win, but if he’s showed a real weakness in his gameplan it’s against really good grapplers, and that’s definitely Akiyama’s strong point. If Leben can keep this standing and can as he says, “keep clubbing him in the head with my left” then he should win. But I don’t really see that as the outcome. Akiyama via UD or late sub.

  • stone says:

    Definently pullin for Leben! Muchos Props to Leben… I aint gonna lie though, I think they should’ve given Belcher his well deserved rematch!

  • hindsightufuk says:

    gutted, just lost about 80% interest in this fight
    props to chris tho, get that green

  • hindsightufuk says:

    also its a shame i have to read about all MMA news on other sites nowadays, this place just doesnt break stories any more. I still come here first just in case
    also appreciate a lot of the guys posting on here, you all make this site interesting even with the lack of quality stories, without resorting to the infantile bollocks which stops me reading Sherdogs forums.

  • Dufresne says:

    Sadly kinda agreeing with you here hindsight. This is still THE place to go for an intelligent conversation and well expressed viewpoints, it just seems that it’s slowed down lately. I know a lot of that has to do with the senior writers/columnists having other jobs and obligations, so I can’t really place blame on anyone. This is still my homepage, and as long as they eventually do break news and put out the occasional opinion piece a la GWI it will stay that way.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Yes – 5 oz does lack some breaking news most of the time… BUT like dufresne states-“This is still THE place to go for an intelligent conversation and well expressed viewpoints”… I agree.

    They actually should look into feeding the stories to there site and simply quoting the source and give them the credit. Theres plenty of sites that have news wires with forums that really are basically reposting MMA junkie, and Sherdog stories…

    Either way I like coming here and I know I wont have to deal with the retardation that goes on at sites.

    Wish 5oz had a bigger budget for some more contributors……

  • danw84 says:

    Totally agreed with you two. I mean, just reading some of the comments on mmajunkie makes my brain bleed. Here you can actually have a conversation with someone who disagrees with you without it just going into insults.


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