The recently announced matchup pitting Vitor Belfort against Cung Le at UFC 139 has been canceled, according to UFC President Dana White. Belfort has withdrawn from the bout, and will be replaced by fellow Brazilian Wanderlei Silva. The extent of Belfort’s injury was not announced.
Le (7-1) will be making his UFC debut at the San Jose event. San Jose is his adopted hometown, and the location of all eight of his fights under the Strikeforce banner. Le is the former Strikeforce middleweight champion, as well as an accomplished kickboxer, touting an undefeated record at 17-0. His only career loss was to Scott Smith at Strikeforce Evolution in December of 2009. He avenged that loss to Smith in June 2010, which happens to have been Le’s most recent fight. He has devoted his time to acting in the past 15 months, participating in such films as Fighting, Dragon Eyes, and the upcoming The Man with the Iron Fists, which will also feature Russell Crowe.
Silva (33-11-1) last fought at UFC 132, losing to Chris Leben via TKO. This was Silva’s first action since UFC 110 in February 2010. Silva then underwent multiple surgeries, most notably for his knee. With the loss, Silva now sits at 2-4 since returning to the UFC just under four years ago. This will be Silva’s first career fight in California.
The combined age for Le and Silva is 74, one of the oldest combined ages for a fight in UFC history.
The UFC recently announced the main event for UFC 139, which will feature Shogun Rua and the return of Dan Henderson in the five round main event.