Wand gets his fight with Chris Leben

(Wand so happy! Or is that just how his new face looks all the time now?)

Dana White made no secret about the fact that he wanted Wanderlei Silva to fight Vitor Belfort next, which is why it’s somewhat surprising that the Axe Murderer will now be facing Chris Leben instead. Leben’s the guy Wanderlei has been gunning for for over a year now, and it sounds like they sidestepped the Belfort fight using ring rust reasoning:

But Silva, who has been absent from competition since February last year after knee surgery, was adamant he wanted to throw down with fellow brawler Leben first.

Silva’s long time coach Rafael Cordeiro explained that his fighter wanted to be mentally and physically back in the fight game before taking on Belfort.

The Wand / Leben fight will be at UFC 132 on July 2nd, which pretty much guarantees you won’t see the Axe Murderer fighting at UFC Rio in August. I guess you don’t get to handpick your opponent AND fight in front of your home country.

  • CAP

    Not a bad fight but Wand/Belfort seemed like a no brainer for Rio. I don’t think Wand wants any Vitor.

  • Symbul

    Vitor is the key part of the Rio dream matchups. Now that they don’t need Vitor at 185, having been crushed by Anderson Silva, maybe they’ll give him to Shogun as a bounce-back fight?

  • glassjawsh

    wand is no dumbie, he knows that vitors straight punches and solid boxing trump his looping haymakers every time. I love wand but he doesnt have a chance in hell against belfort. bring on leben and then bring on sexyama, they are the two most exciting/winnable fights he has left

  • CAP

    You’re making too much sense these days jawsh.

  • FiveBoltMain

    Wandy can do whatever he wants.

  • unclefesterdanawhite

    I can respect Wand not wanting to fight Belfort. Wand is not a contender anymore and feeding him to Belfort won’t prove anything. Wand vs. Leben should be a good, exciting fight. It’s hard to say who will win. My heart says Wand. But my brain says Leben. Both guys are brawlers with KO power but Wand’s chin has deteriorated whereas Leben can still take an incredible amount of punishment (look at Stann fight). I’m a PRIDE nuthugger so it’s painful for me to pick Leben. I hope I epically fail in my prediction.

  • scissors61

    i’ll have to look away from this one, i don’t think i can deal with wand potentially losing to chris leben of all people 

  • frickshun

    Wand doesn’t have the explosiveness in his punches any more nor the ferocity to attack w/them. He’s a legend. And yes, that is past tense.

  • glassjawsh
  • frickshun

    Can’t see. Which fight are we talking about b/c he hasn’t looked like the “Axe Murderer” since Hendo snatched his soul:
    http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/newerafranchise/Album%25202/HendoWandy.gif

  • unclefesterdanawhite

    I must point out that with all the punishment Leben took over the years, one of these days Leben’s jaw is going to turn to glass just like Wand’s has. So who knows, maybe this is the fight that Leben’s chin will go soft. Kind of like how the Cro Cop fight was when Wand’s chin finally gave out. I still think Leben is the safer bet. We know Wand’s chin is glass now. Whereas Leben’s jaw held up really well in his last fight. Stann had to hit him with all these shots before he could get a TKO on Leben. Really hard to TKO Leben, let alone KO him.

  • glassjawsh

    @ frick – it’s the end of the bisping fight when count spitoon gets saved by the bell. but while i agree that wand’s not the same. I think the loss of his “axe murderer” tag has more to do with fighting guys like Henderson, Chuck (before he sucked) Rampage and Rich Franklin, instead of the steady diet of Kiyoshi Tamura’s, Shungo Oyama’s Hiromitsu Kanehara’s and Alexander Ostuka’s he was fed in Pride

    @ other dumbass – wanderlei silva has been knocked out 4 times in 45 fights. vitor belfort (13 KO’s) in 1998, Cro Cop (20 KO’s) in 2006, Hendo (12 KO’s) in 2007 and Rampage (14 KO’s) in 2008. all were in their prime and all WERE FUCKING MONSTERS when the KO was administered. dude’s not getting knocked out by chris leben.

  • frickshun

    Jawsh–>on top of his diminished chinstrap, I don’t like his lack of movement in the cage. He’s a freaking punching bag in there.

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