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Fresh off a dominant win at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, Chris Leben (20-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) has agreed to replace injured Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) and fight Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the co-headliner of next week's UFC 116 event.

A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) Leben has agreed to the bout and is expected to sign shortly.

Leben scored a second-round TKO of Aaron Simpson on Saturday, and if signed, his fight with Akiyama will take place after a mere 12-day layoff.

UFC 116 takes place July 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Leben vs. Akiyama would take second billing on the night's pay-per-view broadcast behind a heavyweight title-unification bout between champ Brock Lesnar and interim title-holder Shane Carwin.

MMAjunkie.com passed along a report from MMAFighting.com earlier today in which UFC president Dana White confirmed that Silva had cracked ribs and was forced to pull out of the fight.

Luckily for Leben, the Nevada State Athletic Commission did not issue him a medical suspension after the Simpson fight, in which he suffered minimal damage.

With the win, Leben improved to 4-2 over his past six fights. "The Ultimate Fighter 1" cast member posted three knockouts wins in the span (over Simpson, Terry Martin and Alessio Sakara).

Akiyama, meanwhile, has been inactive since his UFC debut this past July at UFC 100, where the DREAM and K-1 HERO's veteran defeated Alan Belcher via close split decision for his 11th straight victory.
good fight Leben is the ******* man to take this fight on short notice and after he just had fight 2 weeks before
 

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Excellent of Leben, when a fighter does something like this they gain huge assed respect from me (and the whole MMA community)
 

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Now that's heart and soul right there...

Really impressed that he's willing to take the challenge, and on such short notice none the less...

This guy just cuntinues to prove what a warrior he is, and what's possible with basic skills and a LOT of heart :)

WAR Leben!
 

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Leben is a warrior. Have massive respect for him stepping up to take this fight. Love watching the guy fight, and to take this fight 2 weeks after taking on another tough guy like Aaron Simpson shows real heart. He should be in good condition anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem, it's just a matter of how quickly he can recover from the Simpson fight. Massive props to him for wanting this fight though!

Guess this sets up Bisping vs Wanderlei II at UFC 120 now doesn't it?
 

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I still think Leben is a failure of a human being for his campaigning about being a more mature, rededicated, fighter who is living a clean life....but then fails his test for steroids. Thats absolutely pathetic of him and I will never respect him. It is cool of him to step up when needed though. Hopefully Akiyama smashes his face.
 

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My opinion of Leben went up a whole lot. What a bad ass. Shame about Wandy, but I'm excited for Leben.

War Leben!
I still think Leben is a failure of a human being for his campaigning about being a more mature, rededicated, fighter who is living a clean life....but then fails his test for steroids. Thats absolutely pathetic of him and I will never respect him. It is cool of him to step up when needed though. Hopefully Akiyama smashes his face.
Somehow, I agree with both of these posts. It makes my head hurt.
 

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should be the same kinda fight but its no wand vs Akiyama il be rooting for Akiyama if he takes it then id like to see wand vs Akiyama at ufc 120!
 

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Got to give respect to Leben for stepping up like this, especially right after a fight. I'm guessing he didn't take too much damage and is still in fighting condition?

Mad respect for Andy's first punching bag >_>
 

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On end this sucks balls because the Wanderlei fight would've been an awesome drag out brawl and was a worthy co-main event.

On the other end I would have hated to see either Wanderlei or Akiyama lose since I like them both so much. At least this way I can solely root Akiyama against Leben. Wanderlei would've been a better fight but this isn't so bad either.
 

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116 is SUCH a stacked card. I would've liked to have seen Silva vs Akiyama but there are three other fights that I think may gain Fight of the Night honors anyway.

Lytle kicks Brown's ass in a stand up brawl.
Soszynski finishes Bonnar in another stand up brawl.
Sotiropoulos subs Pellegrino.

Of the three fights I'm looking at, I don't see any upsets happening.

I'm genuinely more interested in those three fights than the Main Event - Carwin vs Lesnar.
 
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