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UFC 116: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Chris Leben booked for July 3 with Wanderlei Silva hurt (Updated)


Sorry "Axe" fans, but Wanderlei Silva is off the UFC 116 fight card after murdering his ribs in training camp.

That very unfortunate news was first reported by MMA Fighting, who brought word of the Brazilian's injury earlier this afternoon, effectively squashing a much-anticipated middleweight mash-up between two of Japanese MMA's most popular fighters.

Despite Silva's last minute withdrawal, "Sexyama" will continue to train for the "Lesnar vs. Carwin" supershow on July 3 now that a resurgent Chris Leben has agreed to step in on short notice to throw hands, according to MMA Weekly.

"The Crippler" (20-6) is fresh off a second round stoppage over the ultra-tough Aaron Simpson this past Saturday night (June 19) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11 Finale in Las Vegas.

It was his second straight win after dropping a pair of fights in a tumultuous two year span that also saw the former TUF star get popped for steroids.

No question a win over Akiyama in what may be the biggest pay-per-view event of the year would effectively complete his improbable comeback.

UFC 116 will feature a titanic heavyweight showdown between division champion Brock Lesnar and interim titlist Shane Carwin. It marks the return of the promotion's biggest box office draw, Lesnar, who will return from a career-threatening intestinal problem to once again establish himself as the undisputed man among men.

"Lesnar vs. Carwin" will also feature a lightweight showdown between Kurt Pellegrino and George Sotiropolous, as well as a highly-anticipated rematch between Stephan Bonnar and Krzysztof Soszynski.

For all the latest UFC 116 news and notes click here.

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