Wanderlei Silva Injured, Off UFC 116 CardFractured ribs have forced former long-time PRIDE champ Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva out of his featured middleweight bout with Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116. MMAFighting.com was first to report on the injury, which takes Silva out of the highly-anticipated July 3rd event.

In a follow-up, MMAjunkie.com has reported that former contender Chris “The Crippler” Leben, fresh off of his second-round stoppage win over Aaron “A-Train” Simpson this past Saturday, has verbally agreed to step in to face Akiyama. It would be Leben’s second fight in a two-week span.

Akiyama (13-1-0, 2 NC) had been set to face Silva (33-10-1, 1 NC) in the co-main event at UFC 116, but the injury to Silva’s ribs has forced the cancellation of the planned bout. Akiyama is undefeated in his last 14 fights and holds big victories over Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef and, in his promotional debut at UFC 100, Alan Belcher. The polarising judoka has led a controversial career, but now plans to make a run for the title in the UFC.

Leben (20-6-0) has also experienced ups and downs in his career and is no stranger to controversy. The TUF 1 alum has battled substance abuse, but has turned his life around in recent years and has eyes on becoming a contender at 185 once again. The hard-hitting Leben holds a number of notable wins in his career, including knockouts of Mike Swick, Jorge Rivera, Sengoku Middleweight Champion Jorge Santiago and, this past weekend, Simpson.

UFC 116: “Lesnar vs Carwin” takes place on July 3rd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by a UFC Heavyweight Championship unification bout between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin.


UFC 116 Fight Card (subject to change):

– Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin (UFC Heavyweight Championship bout)
– Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Chris “The Crippler” Leben (*)
– Chris “Lights Out” Lytle vs Matt “The Immortal” Brown
– Krzysztof “The Polish Experiment” Soszynski vs “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar
– Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino vs George Sotiropoulos

– Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub vs Chris “The Crowbar” Tuchscherer
– Goran Reljic vs Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove

– Seth “The Silverback” Petruzelli vs Ricardo Romero
– Gerald Harris vs Dave Branch
– Daniel “Ninja” Roberts vs Forrest “The Meat Cleaver” Petz
– Jon Madsen vs Karlos “The Terminator” Vemola

*Not yet officially announced



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)