Instead of an epic rematch between the two best middleweight mixed martial artists on planet Earth, the main event of last night’s (Sat., Dec. 28, 2013) UFC 168: “Weidman vs. Silva 2″ pay-per-view (PPV) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, saw Anderson Silva suffer a gruesome leg break shortly into the second round of his rematch against Chris Weidman.
How gruesome? Go look at the photo evidence. Fair warning: It’s graphic and potentially offensive to some viewers, so click with caution.
Considering the nature of the devastating injury, it’s impossible not to wonder what the future holds for Silva. To that end, UFC President Dana White gave an immediate update on his condition at the post-fight press conference:
“He literally left here and is going straight into surgery. Doctor Saunders, who is here tonight watching the fights, is following them because he’s going to do the surgery, probably in the next hour, I guess.”
Then, he was respectful in discussing what the future may hold after the long road to recovery that lays ahead:
“He’s an incredible human being, he’s done amazing things here at the UFC. Maybe he’ll want to make a comeback, who knows, but I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. I don’t want to count him out and I don’t want to count him in. It’s just really not the important thing right now. The important thing is he gets his surgery, heals up, and then we go from there.”
Later, White would reveal some information he received from Silva’s corner providing insight into how the injury happened in an interview with Fox Sports:
“What I heard from his corner was that first kick that Weidman checked from Anderson, it cracked his shin. He felt it and it felt weird, then he threw that hard kick and his leg broke. He’s not feeling good and he’s going into surgery. … It’s very possible that could be his last fight ever. It’s obviously very disappointing if that’s his last fight.”
It’s far too soon to know for certain if Silva will retire due to this injury but it’s fair to assume that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Here’s to hoping for the best.
From the LA Times
By Lance Pugmire
Los Angeles Times
LAS VEGAS — Anderson Silva’s attempt to recapture the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight belt ended Saturday night in a grotesque lower left leg injury that casts the 38-year-old’s fighting future into doubt.
Silva, after being decked by a first-round right hand by champion Chris Weidman, tried a second-round left kick that Weidman (11-0) blocked with his own left shin.
The impact of the contact broke Silva’s lower left leg, bending it as he crashed to the mat and screamed in agony while Weidman was declared the repeat winner 1:16 into the round at MGM Grand.
“I knew that he could hurt me most with the leg kicks. We trained checking the kick a lot,” said Weidman, who beat Silva on July 6 by second-round knockout. “The idea is to pull your leg and for the shin to land at the knee. That’s exactly what I did and I felt his leg go right away.
“I figured if I [caught] him on my knee it could really hurt him. Crazy how this happened.”
Earlier Saturday, women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (8-0) successfully defended her belt in an action-packed fight against her bitter rival Miesha Tate, winning by a third-round submission by her patented armbar.
Rousey was roundly booed after failing to accept Tate’s post-fight handshake, but that became the night’s second-most prevailing image after Silva’s leg cracked, making a distinct, horrific sound.
Silva (33-6) clearly wanted to keep the fight a stand-up battle after the first round, when Weidman pressed Silva to the cage and started a tussle of exchanged knees.
Weidman ended that with the massive right that sent Silva’s eyes rolling back in his head.
The 29-year-old champion said he was expecting referee Herb Dean to stop the fight as he unleashed a flurry of follow-up punches to Silva’s head on the canvas.
As Silva stood for the second, he tried a left kick. Weidman answered by kicking Silva in the stomach. That set up Silva’s decision to kick at Weidman’s leg again, a fateful moment that called to mind the broken leg that ended Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann’s career.
Silva was taken to the trauma center at University Medical Center, according to a Nevada State Athletic Commission official.
“He’s still known as the greatest of all time,” Weidman said as medical workers put a cast on Silva’s leg and carried him from the octagon on a stretcher.
Venice’s Rousey endured her greatest challenge yet in mixed martial arts after seven prior first-round armbar wins, standing up to Tate’s best punches and withstanding the athletic challenger’s attempts to exhaust Rousey in a gritty battle.
The bout ended 58 seconds into the third round, when Rousey spun Tate (13-5) and pulled on her left arm until the challenger tapped out on Rousey’s thigh.
“I have no excuses, she’s the better fighter,” Tate said in the octagon
Reported by Fox Sports
All of the hype, all of the buildup, and none of the satisfaction of a conclusive finish.
In a terribly unfortunate ending to an anticipated rematch, Anderson Silva broke his leg on a checked kick, bringing the UFC 168 main event to a finish at 1:16 of the second round. The official ruling was a TKO win for the champion Chris Weidman.
If there was to be any kind of conclusion drawn from what we saw in the brief time the fight took place, it was that Weidman didn’t necessarily beat Silva, but he did beat him up.
Weidman easily took the first round, dropping Silva with a right hand behind the ear from Silva’s favored position, the clinch. The champion spent the rest of the round beating up Silva (33-6) on the ground with punches and elbows, landing 19 significant strikes in the frame, but was unable to finish the former champ.
“I’ll be honest, I want to say that no matter what happened with the result now or after, he’s still known as the greatest of all time,” Weidman said. “I wish him the best and God bless him.”
The leg break was no sheer accident, however. Leg kicks were Silva’s most important and effective weapon in the first fight between them, and Weidman said he spent a large portion of his training camp working on checking kicks. Silva’s full power strike caught Weidman just above the shin and Silva’s left leg snapped below the knee in a scene that was eerily reminiscent of Corey Hill’s horrific leg break in 2008.
That broken leg kept Hill out of action for well over a year. Silva, who at 38 years old, has already speculated about retirement in the recent past, may again revisit the idea.
Silva left the cage on a stretcher and was transported to the hospital, where he immediately had surgery performed by Dr. Steven Sanders.
UFC president Dana White called it the worst injury he’d seen during his tenure running the promotion.
“I don’t think it was accidental when you try to check a kick and it works,” Weidman said. “Otherwise if I didn’t check the kick, I’d have a big, bruised leg right now, and he would have picked me apart with leg kicks. So, you try to check leg kicks, and that happened.”
Weidman is likely to move on to a matchup with No. 1 contender Vitor Belfort, who was cageside watching at the MGM Grand, though a timeframe for the bout is unknown.
“What I want is in the hands of the guy named Chris Weidman,” Belfort said afterward. “It belongs to me.”
“He’s a completely different fighter from Anderson,” Weidman said of the matchup with Belfort. “He’s very explosive, he’s strong, he’s good on the ground and his feet. He’s going to be a great challenge for me. I’m excited for the fight.”
Weidman, now 11-0, has been an underdog in each of his last two fights, only to emerge the division’s elite fighter. In parts of four rounds against Silva, Weidman out-landed him, took Silva down twice, and walked away with the gold both times.
“People can’t fathom that I’m coming in here beating these guys,” he said. “But slowly but surely, people will start believing in me.”