With Wanderlei Silva forced out of his UFC 116 co-main event against Yoshihiro Akiyama, the UFC needs a dynamic replacement if they are going to retain the magnitude of the originally planned bout. According to Management Company Denaro Sport Marketing, who represent Yoshihiro Akiyama, this will come in the form of UFC middleweight Chris Leben.
Following a link from Leben’s official website, it was announced on Wednesday via Denaro Sport Marketing’s home page that Leben (20-6) would be the replacement for Silva, despite having fought at the TUF 11 Finale last Saturday. Leben scored a second round TKO over Aaron Simpson at this event.
Leben is coming off two straight victories, against Jay Silva and Aaron Simpson, respectively. Akiyama (13-1) is fighting for the second time in the UFC, coming off a UFC 100 split decision over Alan Belcher.
The UFC has yet to officially announce Leben as the replacement for Wanderlei Silva.