At UFC 261, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman suffered one of the most brutal injuries in UFC history. However that has not stopped him from wanting to be able to fight again eventually.
When Weidman won the middleweight title in 2013, he did so by knocking out Anderson Silva. The two would have an immediate rematch, in which Silva would notoriously break his tibia and fibula by having his leg kick checked by Chris.
That is why it was a sickening sense of irony when, in his UFC 261 bout with Uriah Hall, Chris suffered the same fate as his former foe. In the first strike of the fight, Chris horrendously broke the same pair of bones in his leg, resulting in a major surgery.
The Moment Chris Weidman Broke His Leg
This was obviously a terrible injury, and one that left Chris Weidman horrified and fearful of amputation. He has maintained a relatively positive attitude after the fact, but in the moment he was writhing on the ground, clearly not believing what just happened.
This was the same sentiment that he reflected on, when speaking in a recent interview. Here he looked back on the leg kick, and what he remembers from the moment he broke his leg.
“I remember hitting him with the shot, and the first thing that went through my mind was, ‘That was a super hard leg kick. He’s not taking more than one or two of those,’ like, that had to have hurt him,” Weidman said. “Then, secondly, I looked up at his eyes, and I saw him have almost like a poker face on. … I know that had to hurt,” Weidman said,
“And then, apparently, I stepped back. And that must have been when I looked down and I got the visual of my leg flopping around. I don’t remember stepping down. But I remember seeing my leg, you know, rubbery.”
As the UFC medical staff was rushing in to help him, Weidman said that he recognized the irony of the moment. He could not wrap his mind around the fact that of three leg breaks in the UFC, he was now attached to two of them.
“When I was facedown, I think that immediately popped in my head — like, is this a bad dream? How is that possible?” Weidman said.
“I was a part of it when it happened to Anderson Silva, and this happens to me? … Like, how the hell does this happen? Three leg breaks in the history of the UFC, and I’m a part of two of them?”
The UFC 261 Thrill and Agony vid is here and here are the Weidman-Hall reactions pic.twitter.com/7h75CLeq41
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) May 3, 2021
Painful Recovery Process
Following the injury, Chris Weidman was transported to the hospital to get surgery in order to repair the damage. He provided an update on the situation, saying that he was looking at about 12 months before he can compete again.
While he is still trying to stay positive, Chris said that the pain that he experienced was otherworldly. He is a man who has had more than his fair share of surgeries, but this was a new type of experience.
“I’ve had 10 knee surgeries, three elbow surgeries, two neck surgeries, three hand surgeries. I’ve had pretty much everything you could possibly have,” Weidman said.
“The amount of pain when I got up from having my leg up above my heart, when I was putting that leg down — not actually putting weight on it, but just getting on crutches and going to the bathroom — was so bad. The pooling of blood in my shin and my foot was just so terrible. … I was literally sleeping all day long — the only time I was moving really was to go to the bathroom. And those moments were just terrible, literally like crying and pain.”
Even now, as the recovery process is underway, Weidman is still in a ton of pain. Unlike his previous surgeries, where things began to feel better after a few days, he actually experienced an increase in pain as time went on.
“Initially, I was super optimistic, because after surgery I just figured it was going to be three, maybe four days’ worth of pain and then I’d be kind of back into it,” Weidman said.
“I’ve had 23 surgeries, so it’s not like it’s my first rodeo going through a surgery. But I didn’t realize how different this was. When compared to every other surgery, this was a serious, traumatic thing that happened in my leg.
“Recovery’s going to be way longer and harder than I’ve ever experienced. I went through a tough time about the four- or five-day mark postsurgery, because it started going the other way,” Weidman continued,
“It started becoming more painful, as opposed to getting better. And it was just so excruciating, to just get up for me to crutch my way to the bathroom. I would talk myself into it. I had to amp myself up and mentally prepare myself just to get to the bathroom.”
Chris Weidman Wants To Fight Again
The way Chris Weidman explained it, he is looking at about six weeks before he can start putting weight on the leg again, driving and such. Then, provided everything goes well, he can start training again within a year.
Knowing that Chris was already laying out plans for retirement, nobody would blame him if he decided to just call it quits now. However he says that as long as things heal the way they should, he hopes to fight again.
“I was in a very good spot physically, mentally, spiritually. Had some big goals I was ready to accomplish, and I cannot believe this happened to me. … It’s just so frustrating,” Weidman said.
“I don’t know how much work it’s going to take, but yeah, this is what I want. I just know how good I am. And I want to be able to prove it. And I don’t have many more years left of being able to do that. My body never felt so good before this fight. I really was excited to show the world how good I am able to put it out there.
“If I can get my body back to where I feel like I’m that guy again, I 100% want to fight,” Weidman continued. “I want to be able to demonstrate the talents I have, put on a show and then also be able to inspire people by coming back from this. It is not going to be easy. It’s way, way tougher of a recovery already in the first 10 days.”
It goes without saying that this injury was one of the worst you will ever see in the Octagon. Hopefully Chris Weidman can have a speedy recovery and get healthy again as soon as possible.