Silva faces Leben at UFC 132
UFC officials announced the bout on Monday.
Leben, who experienced a career resurgence with dominant victory over Jay Silva, Aaron Simpson, and Yoshihiro Akiyama in 2010, was disappointed against Brian Stann, losing via technical knockout at UFC 125 last January. He is an even 3-3 over his past three years of competition in the UFC.
Silva, meanwhile, jumped back on the right track in his last contest with a unanimous decision victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 110. The former PRIDE superstar has been out of action since the early 2010 victory, which was his debut at the 185 lb. mark.
“Two fan favorites will go to war as Chris ‘The Crippler’ Leben has verbally agreed to face Wanderlei ‘The Axe Murderer’ Silva in Las Vegas July 2nd,” UFC president Dana White stated in the official statement.
Silva has been openly campaigning to face Leben for several months, while White wanted the Axe Murderer to face Vitor Belfort. Silva turned down a fight with Brian Stann as well.
UFC 132 is set for July 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada and features a bantamweight title bout between champion Dominick Cruz and top contender Urijah Faber. A welterweight rematch between Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn was originally set for the card, but the American Kickboxing Academy product was forced out of the contest.