Fighter's Corner

June 23, 2010 2:31 PM

Wanderlei Silva injured, Chris Leben steps in to face Akiyama

Years or abuse and punishment finally have taken their toll on Wanderlei Silva as he let the UFC know on Tuesday that he is unable to compete in the July 3rd co-main event at UFC 116.

The injuries, plural, appear to be three broken ribs and a blown out knee that he had been training through for weeks until an x-ray revealed the shattered ribs that were the final straw.

So in steps fellow middleweight veteran Chris Leben (20-6) who literally just fought this past Saturday at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale against Aaron Simpson, winning by TKO in round two.

Leben will have exactly 12 days of rest before fighting Akiyama in Las Vegas.

The question now has to be whether the injuries are the final straw in Silva's career. Silva, 33, may appear to still be relatively young but remember, here's a fighter who has been going to war since his late teenage years not just in the ring but at his camp at Shuto Box. You just can't train the way they did for all those years and not pay the price down the line. Silva has found that out but too late to do anything about it.

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