Belfort Out. Cung Lee to Face Wanderlei Silva.
According to Dana White’s Twitter, Vitor Belfort has been injured in training camp for his November bout with Cung Le, the former Strikeforce Middleweight champion, at UFC 139 in San Jose, and has been replaced with Wanderlei Silva.
With Cung Le coming over 7-1 from Strikeforce (He avenged his only loss to Scott Smith in his last bout), a fight with Belfort may have set the winner up for a title shot. Now that Silva’s fighting, one has to wonder if this doesn’t just muddle up the middleweight division.
If he could get past Belfort, which is no easy task, Le would have been a good opponent for Anderson Silva. His style forged by fighting Sanshou would have been an interesting challenge for the Spider. As a veteran in the cage, Le may not have many fights left before retirement, so a match with Belfort followed by a match with Anderson Silva would have been an ideal ascent.
Wanderlei Silva is coming off of a terrible loss to Chris Leben, There are lots of unanswered questions about his abilities, as Leben didn’t really give him the opportunity to display them and many are calling for him to retire.
I want to believe Wandi could surprise us, swarm Le and knock him out, but, really, I don’t. Look, if Wanderlei wins, we can all say that he just got caught by Leben. It happens. He’s still got some fight left in him. Or maybe he just caught Le, like Leben caught him. Either way, he doesn’t really move up in the division. And if Le wins, we can say he beat an aging, very knock-out-able Silva. Not much of an accomplishment. He doesn’t really move up in the division.
Frankly, I don’t see how either man wins with this match-up. And it brings both much closer to retirement.