(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.