Wanderlei Silva Steps In To Face Cung Le At UFC 139An injury has forced Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort out of his bout with former Strikeforce standout Cung Le at UFC 139 on November 19th in San Jose, California. Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva has stepped in to face Le on the card. UFC President Dana White announced the change today.

Silva is coming off of a quick knockout loss to middleweight contender Chris “The Crippler” Leben in July and has posted wins in just two of his last eight fights. Le will make his Octagon debut on the San Jose card and has not fought since a June 2010 win over rival Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith.

Silva (33-11-1, 1 NC) became a superstar in the former Pride Fighting Championships promotion with a career-best 18-fight unbeaten streak that stretched from 2000 to 2004. During that time, the hard-hitting brawler posted wins over Dan “Hendo” Henderson, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson twice and Kazushi Sakuraba on three occasions. However, years of wars inside the ring have seemingly taken their toll on Silva in recent years and he has struggled since returning to the UFC in 2007. With knockout losses in four of his last eight fights, Silva may need a big win in order to keep his storied career alive.

Le (7-1-0) has faced criticism for a perceived lack of dedication to MMA as he pursues an acting career, but he has won all but one of his fights to date and has stopped all of his opponents inside the distance. The popular San Jose native suffered his first and only loss against Scott Smith in December 2009 after fading late in the fight, but avenged the loss last June by finishing Smith midway through round two. Le has not competed since then, however, and ring rust could prove to be a factor for the 39-year-old as he transitions over to a new career as a member of the UFC roster.

UFC 139 takes place on November 19th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The card will likely be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between former PRIDE stars Dan “Hendo” Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.


UFC 139 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):

– Dan “Hendo” Henderson vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua [*]
– Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva vs Cung Le
– “The California Kid” Urijah Faber vs Brian Bowles
– Rick “The Horror” Story vs Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann
– Ryan “Darth” Bader vs Jason “The Hitman” Brilz
– Gleison Tibau vs Rafael dos Anjos
– “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar vs Kyle “Kingsbu” Kingsbury
– “All-American” Chris Weidman vs “Filthy” Tom Lawlor

*Not yet officially announced.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)