Day replaces Leben in UFC 85
By Dave Meltzer
The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced today that Jason Day would be replacing Chris Leben as the opponent for Michael Bisping on the snake-bit June 7 show at the 02 Arena in London.
Leben, the scheduled opponent, found out Thursday that he wouldn't be released from Clackamas County (Ore.) jail until May 27, which not have given him enough time to get in shape for the fight.
Leben was sentenced to 35 days in jail, with credit given for time served on a probation violation for a DUI conviction in 2005. UFC officials were not aware of the charge, which meant Leben would have been unable to get a visa to travel overseas for the show. When Leben was contacted about the outstanding warrant, he agreed to turn himself in, believing he would get out after serving time with enough training time to save the fight.
Day, 17-5, debuted on the April 19 show in Montreal, stopping Alan Belcher with punches in 3:58. UFC officials had spoken with Nate Quarry, who beat Kalib Starnes on the same show, about facing Bisping, but Quarry was nursing an elbow injury and wouldn't be recovered in time for the short-notice fight.
The London show has had numerous line-up changes since first announcement, including both originally scheduled main eventers being pulled, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for knee surgery and Chuck Liddell for a hamstring tear.
Bisping vs. Leben and Matt Hughes vs. Thiago Alves were added as the top matches on the show after Liddell, the top draw on the show, had to cancel his match with Rashad Evans.