The significance of the moment was not lost on Anderson Silva. The former UFC fighter, who suffered a gruesome broken leg almost eight years ago against Chris Weidman, offered his sympathy when Weidman experienced the same injury Saturday night on a checked kick during his UFC 261 bout against Uriah Hall.
Silva, whose lower leg snapped in the same fashion during their 2013 bout, urged Weidman to “have faith” after Weidman was carried from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. “My deepest and most sincere sentiments champ. Have faith,” he wrote on social media. “I wish you a speedy recovery. In this moment, I wish you and your family light, love and knowledge. To the fans of the sport, please respect this moment of this incredible warrior and let’s wish that he is 100 percent … recovered soon.”
Oddly, the two men have been involved two of the three times in which a checked kick resulted in a broken leg in the UFC, according to ESPN. Corey Hill had the first in 2008, and he returned to fight 11 more times before he retired in 2015.
Weidman, who became the middleweight champion when he knocked out Silva, was in stable condition, according to the UFC, ahead of surgery to repair a broken tibia and fibula. On Sunday, Weidman’s wife, Marivi, posted to Instagram a photo of him smiling in a hospital bed after successful surgery.
Well that was horrible. Freak things happen in life and plans get crushed. It’s been a lonnnggg day but so happy to finally see this man of mine post surgery. Everything went well thank you Lord! Very thankful for the medical staff, UFC family @danawhite @reedharrisufc #allieraimondo, our management team @vaynersports@sarahzemonek and our family and friends here rallying to help with the kids. My heart breaks for my husband because I know the work and dedication that he puts into his training everyday and the great man that he is, so I only want the best for him. While this absolutely sucks in the moment and for some weeks to come, we are completely overwhelmed by the love and support we have far and wide and are very aware how blessed we are. All of that overpowers the awfulness of this situation. We are blown away by our friends and family offering to hop on flights to come help us without hesitation. We are so grateful and love you all!! It’s been a crazy year so far but us Weidmans are a force and covered in Grace and Mercy everyday! We were reminded this year how precious each day is and I am so thankful to be spending another day on earth next to my love even if it’s in a hospital room far from home. 🙌🏻 #teamweidman
Silva, known for his signature leg kick, was sidelined for more than a year by his injury, which required insertion of a titanium rod to repair tibia and fibula fractures, and returned to fight, retiring in 2020 when Hall beat him in a fourth-round TKO. Weidman’s left leg was placed in a compression boot, and he was taken from the cage on a stretcher.
Hall described hearing “a click” when Weidman’s lower leg broke. “I thought it was a slap, but I didn’t feel the slap on my calf, so that’s got to be his bone. And when he landed, it clicked in. To be honest, it was just Anderson Silva when he landed. It was weird. It was so weird. I just pictured Anderson Silva.”
With the TKO 17 seconds into the 185-pound fight, Hall (17-9 MMA, 10-7 UFC) became the first UFC fighter to win without a single leg strike. The event was also the first to take place before a full crowd of 15,000 since the coronavirus pandemicsurged in March 2020.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Chris Weidman,” Hall said after the fight dropped Weidman’s record to 15-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC. “He’s truly one of the best. It is a crazy story that he was the first man I fought that defeated me, that introduced me to fear. … I wanted to put on a great performance. I feel so bad for him. I hope he’s okay. I wish the family well. It’s the sucky part of this sport. It’s a hurt business. … I hope he recovers.”
Source: Washington post