Sounds like Chris Leben got some "crippling" news today.
That's because UFC President Dana White has informed MMA Fighting that he plans to move forward with a Brian Stann vs. Wanderlei Silva match-up for Spring 2011, after "All American" punched his ticket (literally) for bigger and better things in the promotion's busy 185-pound division.
Leben, who campaigned for a fight against "The Axe Murderer" ever since his thrilling back-to-back wins over Aaron Simpson and Yoshihiro Akiyama in 2009, was called to duty for a UFC 125 battle against the super-soldier while the Brazilian recovered from his surgically repaired knee and broken ribs.
In fact, it was that injury that forced "The Axe Murderer" out of his July 3 bout against "Sexyama," giving Leben the chance to replace him and put on one of the year's best fights, putting him in a position to seek out the former PRIDE smashing machine.
Unfortunately Stann didn't stick to the script, stopping "The Crippler" via technical knockout in the first round back on Jan. 1 and inserting himself into the Silva lottery.
No date or venue has been confirmed for the proposed Stann vs. Silva match-up as Wandy works his way back to 100-percent after missing what's soon to be more than a year of action.
Prior to withdrawing from the "Lesnar vs. Carwin" pay-per-view event, Silva outpointed Michael Bisping at UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia, snapping a two-fight skid to bring his record to 2-3 inside the Octagon and 33-10-1 overall.
While always entertaining, one has to wonder how much the Brazilian has left at this stage of his storied career.
The opposite could be said for the resurgent Stann (10-3), who seems to have replicated his WEC success since dropping to middleweight after spending most of his career at 205-pounds.
In addition to his make-or-break win over Leben, the hard-hitting Marine finished Mike Massenzio via triangle choke at UFC on Versus 2 last August.
Does a convincing win over Silva put him in the 185-pound title hunt?
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more details on this pending match-up as they become available.