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Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben Agree to Meet at UFC 132 in July

Wanderlei Silva's campaign for a fight with Chris Leben has hit paydirt.

The UFC middleweight star has apparently convinced the UFC to let him fight Leben, rather than the original possibilities presented by company president Dana White.

The UFC confirmed late Monday night that both Silva and Leben have verbally agreed to the matchup, which will take place on the UFC 132 main card.

It will mark Silva's return after a nearly 17-month hiatus. He has not fought since a Feb. 2010 unanimous decision win over Michael Bisping. A few months later, he had knee surgery and has been rehabilitating the injury ever since.

As Silva healed, White first voiced the possibility of Silva facing Brian Stann. But Silva resisted that matchup, saying he did not want to fight an American hero.

Just a few weeks ago, White proposed a new possibility, telling MMA Fighting that he wanted Silva to face fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort in a rematch over a decade in the making. This time, Silva did not publicly comment on the proposal, but took to Twitter in continuing his campaign for a fight against Leben.

Silva will ultimately get what he wanted, a matchup with one of UFC's most relentless fighters. Leben will be looking to rebound from a Jan. 1 knockout loss at the hands of Brian Stann.

Silva is 33-10-1 with 1 no contest while Leben is 25-7 after his recent defeat.

UFC 132 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on July 2.

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