MMAFighting reveals that Wanderlei Silva has pulled out of the UFC 116 event and his bout with Yoshihiro Akiyama due to a rib injury sustained in training. But all hope is not lost: Chris "The Crippler" Leben, fresh off an invigorating TKO of Aaron Simpson at last weekend's TUF 11 Finale, has agreed to replace Silva and face Akiyama per MMAJunkie.
Aside from Silva's celebrated legacy and legendary status, many aspects of his ruthless, brawling style are mirrored by Leben. We should still be treated to a high-paced stand-up affair pitting an aggressive slugger versus Akiyama's technical kickboxing and pinpoint accuracy. Highly touted Yoshihiro Akiyama debuted at UFC 100 versus Alan Belcher, where the former DREAM and K-1 Hero's standout traded blows with Belcher in an entertaining tilt that resulted in a close win on the cards for Akiyama.
At 13-1, the Korean Judoka was a premiere UFC acquisition, but has not seen action in almost one year. Chris Leben weathered the early takedown storm from Aaron Simpson in the first round and took control in the following frame by finding a home for his heavy hands. Leben reeled off a series of lefts that sent Simpson sprawling, earning a second round TKO victory.