In a long video blog post, Wanderlei Silva explained why he had to pull out of his UFC 116 bout with Yoshihiro Akiyama. Officially, he is being replaced by Chris Leben due to injury, but it's a more complicated situation than that.
First, he tore his ACL, blowing out his knee. Three doctors confirmed this. Silva said his knee felt unstable and caused him pain, but that wasn't enough to make him pull out of the fight. He continued to prepare for Akiyama, but then in a sparring practice, he broke his ribs. He said that the problem with a rib injury is that it completely sidelines you. With that, he needed to pull out of the fight, and will need to have surgery to recover from his injuries.
You have to feel for Wand. He clearly wanted to fight, and in this post, you see a man absolutely crestfallen. He spends the first half of the video explaining his injuries and the next half apologizing to everyone but the president for pulling out of the bout. He even offers a big hug to everyone before signing off
Silva also points out that the injuries he has sustained through his career are starting to catch up with him. He's set to turn 34 on July 3 — the planned date of his bout — but he's fought in 44 bouts. From his legendary battles in Pride to his more recent scraps with Chuck Liddell, "Rampage" Jackson and Rich Franklin in the UFC, Silva has taken more than his fair share of damage.
For a fighter like that, heading into a bout with a torn ACL — an injury that prevents non-athletes from walking normally — is hardly an amazing feat. Walking away from a fight when it proves to be too dangerous is clearly more difficult for a man like Wand.