The UFC has confrimed that Jason Day will be stepping in to replace Chris Leben against Michael Bisping at UFC 85, scheduled to take place June 7 in London, England. Day is fresh off of his victorious UFC debout against Alan Belcher at UFC 83.
UFC Middleweight, Leben, was sentenced Thursday in a Portland, Oregon courthouse for his probation violation stemming from a DUI, which he received back in 2005. According to Calckamas County Court Officials, Leben was sentenced to 35 days in jail, with credit granted for time already served. This scheduled Leben’s release to be in the last week of May, only two weeks before his scheduled bout againstBisping.
Knowing that he would be required to obtain a Visa to leave the US, Leben immediately turned himself in to Oregon officials last week after accepting the fight against Bisping. Leben, who has been living in Hawaii, was aware of the probation violation and had been trying to transfer probation to Hawaii, but was not able to in time.
UFC 85 seems to have been jinxed from the get-go, as multiple fighters have been forced to pull out. Initially, the card was a star-studded promotion which featured former Light Heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell taking on Maricio “Shogun” Rua. Rua was then forced to withdraw due to the lack of progress on his surgically repaired knee. The UFC was able to place up and comer Rashad Evans into Rua’s spot to take on Liddell.
Then, Liddell was also forced to withdraw due to a pulled muscle in his leg and James Irvin has stepped in to replace him against Evans.
Knowing that the card was not as solid as once expected, the UFC scrambled to find replacements, and Leben vs. Bisping was one of the last minute quality fights that they were able to pull off. Matt Hughes vs. Thiago Alves was the other.