“I am not pleased with the change. There are just ten days left until the contest for me to determine [Leben’s] threats and the time is insufficient to establish a tailored gameplan. Leben is also not as high-profile as [Wanderlei] Silva and that does not help me…
“If there is to be a replacement I was hoping for a big name … I spent one year preparing hard for this fight and this news has come as a big disappointment, my motivation has waned. I do not know yet what will happen. .. In the worst case, I will not take part in the [UFC 116] event. We are working hard to resolve this issue.” [Daum.net via FightersOnly]
Akiyama better get used to these changes. Fighters train at a higher level, increasing the frequency of these type of injuries.
While, Leben might not have as of an extensive record as Wanderlei Silva, he brings in a huge following of fans from appearance on TUF 1.