Yoshihiro Akiyama Unhappy With Late Sub Chris Leben, May Pull Out Of UFC 116

Written by Tim Ngo
June 24th, 2010

UFC middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama

UFC middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama is not pleased with the UFC’s decision to replace the injured Wanderlei Silva with Chris Leben. Akiyama has even gone as far as to say that he may pull out of the event altogether.

The always controversial Akiyama actually called out Silva for this bout and is understandably upset that a years’ worth of training for the biggest fight of his career has in essence gone down the drain.

“I am not pleased with the change. There are just ten days left until the contest for me to determine [Leben’s] threats and the time is insufficient to establish a tailored game plan,” Akiyama stated to Korean website Daum.net. “Leben is also not as high-profile as [Wanderlei] Silva and that does not help me.

“If there is to be a replacement, I was hoping for a big name.”

Some would even say that Akiyama is lucky to even have an opponent at UFC 116, which was only 13 days away from the moment that Silva was removed from the card.

Leben is coming off of a win over Aaron Simpson at “The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale,” which took place on June 19th. That means that he only has 14 days to prepare himself for another fight.

Akiyama then proceeded to drop a bomb that most likely won’t make UFC brass too happy.

“I spent one year preparing hard for this fight and this news has come as a big disappointment, my motivation has waned. I do not know yet what will happen. … In the worst case, I will not take part in the [UFC 116] event. We are working hard to resolve this issue,” said Akiyama.

The countdown is on to find out if UFC 116 still has a co-main event to flank the UFC heavyweight title bout between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin.

(Thanks to our friends at Fighter’s Only for the translation)

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