“The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva will welcome former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le to the Octagon when the part-time movie star makes his UFC debut at UFC 139 on Nov. 19 in his adopted hometown of San Jose, Calif.
Silva (33-11-1, 1 NC) is filling in for Vitor Belfort, who was originally scheduled to face Le, but was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury.
The bout will be Silva’s second Octagon appearance of 2011. In July he suffered a first round knockout loss to Chris Leben at UFC 132, just 27 seconds into the fight. Prior to that, in Feb. 2010, Silva won a unanimous decision against Michael Bisping at UFC 110.
Silva has won just two of his six fights since signing with the UFC in 2007. One can only assume it is because of his exciting “go-for-broke” fight style, his loyal fan base and all that he has accomplished in the sport that “The Axe Murderer” still has a job in the UFC.
Sooner or later though, if he can not turn things around, the UFC is going to have a hard time convincing fans they should pay money to watch him on Pay-Per-View. Having said that, Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le may even be a more exciting match-up than Belfort-Le.
Le (7-1) last fought in June 2010 when he avenged the only loss on his record by scoring a second round knockout victory over Scott Smith at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” in San Jose. All seven of Le’s wins have come via (T)KO.
Headlining the UFC 139 card at the HP Pavilion, the former home of Strikeforce, is a light heavyweight match-up between former UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and returning Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson.
See ProMMAnow.com’s Upcoming Events page for the full UFC 139 fight card line-up as it stands.