- MMA columnist for ESPN.com
- Analyst for “MMA Live”
- Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun
In a surreal twist of fate on Saturday, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman appeared to suffer the same gruesome leg injury in a loss to Uriah Hall that Anderson Silva suffered during a fight against Weidman nearly eight years ago.
Hall (17-9) defeated Weidman (15-6) via TKO just 17 seconds into their 185-pound contest at UFC 261, when Weidman’s lower right leg snapped after Hall checked his very first leg kick. The sequence was eerily similar to the way Weidman defeated Silva in a UFC title fight in December 2013.
Hall remained stoic as Weidman, 36, left Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville on a stretcher.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Chris Weidman,” Hall said. “He’s truly one of the best. It’s a crazy story, that he was the first man I fought that defeated me [in 2010], that introduced me to fear. I didn’t know what fear was. Then we went different paths. He was the first person to defeat Anderson [in the UFC], and I was the last. It’s crazy how we ended up here again. I wanted to put on a great performance, but man, I feel so bad. I hope he’s OK. I wish his family well.”
A native of Long Island, Weidman shocked the world in July 2013 by knocking out Silva with a left hook at UFC 163 in Las Vegas. Weidman ended Silva’s reign of 10 successful title defenses, and the UFC booked an obvious, immediate rematch later that year.
In the second round of the rematch, Silva’s leg visibly shattered when Weidman checked a low leg kick. Silva immediately fell to the ground in pain and was ultimately diagnosed with a broken fibula and tibia. Following some speculation his fight career was over, Silva returned with the help of a metal rod inserted into his left leg. He continued to fight in the UFC up until October, when Hall defeated him in a fourth-round TKO.
Including Saturday, there have been only three instances of a broken leg due to a checked kick in UFC history. The first incident occurred in December 2008 and involved lightweight Corey Hill. Like Silva, Hill also returned to competition. He fought 11 more times, before retiring from the sport in 2015.
Hall, who is originally from Jamaica and now fights out of Dallas, officially picks up his fourth win in a row. This fight marked a big one in his career, as he suffered his first pro loss to Weidman when they were two prospects fighting out of New York. The 36-year-old is 4-5 overall in his last five contests.
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