Fan-favorite fighter Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva was unfortunately forced out of his scheduled UFC 116 bout against Yoshihiro Akiyama when he injured his ribs and knee during training. During his birthday party/UFC 116 after party Silva spoke to RawVegasTV and offered his thoughts on his replacement Chris Leben, who called Silva out after he defeated Akiyama.
“He represented very well, he’s a good opponent,” said Silva of “The Crippler.” “I think if he’s gonna wait that I’m gonna fight him next.”
Silva and Leben share a similar proclivity to engaging in all out dogfights, a fact that ensures their bout would be an exciting one. Silva told his interviewer that he, too, believes that he and Leben match up well.
“He did very well, he gave a great show,” Silva said. “He’s a great opponent for me to fight next.”
Silva said that he will be out for at least “6 to 7 months” after his knee surgery so that would give Leben, who fought twice in two weeks, some time for much-needed rest. During the UFC 116 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White told the press that he is unsure of the bout due to Silva’s impending injury layoff but with both fighters and their fans campaigning for this fight it would not be surprising to see Leben and Silva squaring off sooner rather than later.