According to reports, former Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 116 scrap with Yoshihiro Akiyama on July 3rd due to fractured ribs he recently suffered in training.
UFC president Dana White confirmed Wandy’s exit from the card earlier today with MMAFighting.com.
MMAJunkie.com immediately followed up Ariel Helwani’s report by stating Chris Leben has agreed to step in on 11 days notice to face Sexyama inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Veagas. Although no official announcement has been made, Leben should have his bout agreement signed and submitted shortly.
Leben posted an impressive 2ndRound TKO victory this Saturday over Aaron Simpson at “The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale.” Fortunately for the slugger, he suffered minimal damage in the contest and was not placed on the medical suspension list by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Akiyama was last seen taking a split decision over Alan Belcher at UFC 100 LAST July. Although he’s been sitting the sidelines for quite some time, apparently waiting for Wandy’s arrival, his W over Belcher was his 11th consecutive.
It is believed the middleweight clash will still serve as the evening’s co-main event. The 185-pounders will open for the highly anticipated heavyweight title unification bout between champ Brock Lesnar and interim title holder Shane Carwin.
Here’s the revised agenda for the show:
Seth Petruzelli vs. Ricardo Romero
Jon Madsen vs. Karlos Vemola
Daniel Roberts vs. Forrest Petz
Gerald Harris vs. Dave Branch
(Spike TV 9PM ET/6PM PT)
Goran Reljic vs. Kendall Grove
Brendan Schaub vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Kurt Pellegrino vs. George Sotiropoulos
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar
Matt Brown vs. Chris Lytle
Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Shane Carwin (UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar (UFC Heavyweight Champion)