It seems an injury has forced Wanderlei Silva off of the UFC 116 card slated for July 3 in Las Vegas.

The latest report from MMA Junkie and confirmed by states that Chris Leben, fresh off a win over Aaron Simpson at last weekend’s TUF finale, will be stepping up to face Yoshihiro Akiyama.


Wanderlei Silva, who was scheduled to meet Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116 on July 3, has been forced to withdraw from the card due to fractured ribs suffered in training, UFC president Dana White confirmed with MMA Fighting Tuesday afternoon.

Update: MMA Fighting is able to confirm MMA Junkie’s report that Chris Leben has verbally agreed to replace Silva against Akiayama. Leben defeated Aaron Simpson at last Saturday’s TUF 11 Finale in Las Vegas.

Leben should be lauded for stepping up, but a fight against Akiyama is not a good stylistic matchup for him. With his solid base, excellent ground game and judo skills, unless Leben can land a flurry of hard punches early, he is likely to be on the losing end of some sort of stoppage.

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