I am not pleased with the change. There are just ten days left until the contest for me to determine [Chris 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."
While the injury to Wanderlei Silva does suck on many levels, specifically because Akiyama chose to sit out for a year just to fight Silva. That's the gamble he took and it didn't pay off unfortunately. For him to complain about having Chris Leben as an opponent is childish, not to mention him citing gameplanning as a problem. No matter who they find as a replacement, he would find time insufficient to establish a tailored gameplan. All the other top fighters are tied up with scheduled fights or not in the UFC. He should take the fight with Leben as stylistically it could be just as exciting as the Silva match up, and while Leben isn't as popular worldwide, he isn't some nobody in either.