Jason Day. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that Canadian middleweight Jason Day will step in as a replacement opponent for Chris Leben against Michael Bisping when the organization travels overseas to London, England on June 7th for UFC 85: Bedlam.
Day, who is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, was victorious in his UFC debut last month, stopping rising fellow middleweight Alan Belcher with strikes in the first round of their bout at UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II.
“I love this fight,” Day said on the UFC’s official website. “Everybody’s been asking me who would I like to fight next, and I said Bisping, but who would have thought it would have come about so quickly. He’s a great fighter, an exciting fighter, tough as nails, and everybody wants that marquee fight where you get the guy that tests you and you slug it out for two or three rounds. I think he’s a pretty good test for me.”
Bisping was victorious in his middleweight debut at UFC 83 as well, stopping American Top Team product Charles McCarthy in the first round. This fight will mark the third time that the England native has fought in his native country since joining the UFC.
“Obviously I was looking forward to the Leben fight but I guess it wasn’t to be,” said Bisping. “You have to respect Jason Day for stepping in on even shorter notice than myself. I am looking forward to really putting on a great performance in London.”
Leben was sentenced to a total of 35 days in jail yesterday by the Clackamas County Circuit Court. He is serving the stint in prison after turning himself in to Oregon authorities one week ago for violating terms of his probation stemming from a DUI arrest three years ago. Leben was forced to serve the jail time in order to be approved for a visa that would have allowed him to travel overseas to take on Bisping in his home country.
An attempt to have his probation moved to his new home of Hawaii was unsuccessful. Leben has been behind bars since April 30th while awaiting sentencing and the nine days will count as time served towards his sentence. The Team Quest product is slated to be released from prison on May 27th.
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