The match-up was announced Monday via UFC.com
Talks of the two sluggers squaring off first began following Leben’s impressive submission victory over Yoshirio Akiyama at UFC 116. Afterward, “The Crippler” asked for a shot at Silva, whom he had stepped in for when an injury forced the Brazilian out of the bout with Akiyama just two weeks ahead of the match-up.
The fight seemed to make sense, and while both fighters shared a mutual desire to face one another upon “The Axe Murderer’s” return, Leben’s momentum came to a crashing halt this past January when he was knocked out by Brian Stann in the opening round of their UFC 125 match-up. Nevertheless, Silva remained steadfast in his wishes, turning down match-ups with both Stann and Vitor Belfort in favor of fighting Leben. And after months of both fighters campaigning for the bout, it has finally materialized.
Silva’s (30-10-1) last outing was more than a year ago at UFC 110, where he scored a very closely contended unanimous decision win over Michael Bisping. The victory snapped a two fight losing streak for the former PRIDE stand-out, who was coming off losses to Rich Franklin and Quinton Jackson.
Leben (25-7), meanwhile, will look to bounce back from defeat after being upset by Stann in his latest effort. Prior to the loss, “The Crippler” appeared to be on the edge of contendership, having submitted Akiyama only two weeks out from a TKO victory over Aaron Simpson at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale.
UFC 132 is set to take place July 2nd from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and will feature a Bantamweight title clash between division Champion Dominick Cruz and challenger Urijah Faber.