(Who wants some sexytime with Sexyama?)
MMAFighting.com is reporting that Wanderlei Silva has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled July 3 UFC 116 bout with Yoshihiro Akiyama due to broken ribs "The Axe Murderer" sustained while training for the fight.
For Silva, who is 2-3 in his most recent stint the Octagon, the fight was to be an opportunity to potentially elevate his UFC record to .500 for the first time since re-joining the organization in 2007
UFC president Dana White informed Ariel Helwani of the news this afternoon.
No replacement has been signed as of posting, but there will likely be no shortage of middleweights eager to step up to the last-minute challenge, even if most of the UFC’s top-tier 185-pound fighters aren’t available.
Personally, I’d like to see him fight Dan Miller or Patrick Cote, but since Miller is under medical suspension until June 29 from a cut he sustained in his UFC 114 loss to Michael Bisping and Cote recently had surgery for a broken hand he injured in his UFC 113 loss to Alan Belcher, neither fighter will likely be ready for the card.
Another interesting opponent would be Denis Kang, who submitted Dae Won Kim in Montreal last weekend. He lost to Akiyama under the K-1 Hero’s banner a few years back and after Akiyama’s glove grazed his cornea and impaired his depth perception and has mentioned his strong desire for a rematch on several occasions. Unfortunately, since he is scheduled to face Paulo Filho in ImpactFC in July, I can’t see him taking the fight.
We’ll just have to wait and see who the UFC has in mind for the fight, but I have a hunch it will be someone of note like Michael Bisping or a dark horse like Phil Davis.
*UPDATE* According to MMAJunkie, Chris Leben has verbally agreed to step in for Silva and is waiting on the bout agreement.