Sexy or not, here he comes.
Yoshihiro Akiyama will officially face Chris Leben at UFC 116: "Lesnar vs. Carwin," the promotion announced today. This comes just days after "Sexyama's" original opponent, Wanderlei Silva, was forced to withdraw from the event after injuring his ribs and knee in training camp.
The former DREAM and K-1 star was initially hesitant to face the free-swinging brawler on such short notice, but fortunately he was persuaded to accept the bout and move forward with his preparations.
"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.