Chris Weidman is ready to return after enduring a horrific leg break in April 2021.
Weidman (15-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) snapped his right leg on the first kick he threw against Uriah Hall at UFC 261. He was stretchered out and quickly underwent emergency surgery.
He since has gone through a grueling process to get back on his feet, and the former UFC middleweight champion is comfortable to start kicking in fights again soon.
“I got a titanium rod through the middle of my shin bone – right through the whole (bone), from the top of my knee all the way down to the low part of my ankle to the bottom of the tibia,” Weidman said on UFC Unfiltered. “On paper, I think I’m pretty good. For me to break my bone and then through the rod, I don’t think that’s going to happen. A compound fracture is not going to be happening. But you know what? My goal is to kick as hard as I possibly can, so maybe it does happen. I just want to defy the odds. Imagine that.
“I’m good. I’m pretty much there. When I’m up on my toes and stuff like that and I start bouncing, I get like a little pain on the shin and stuff. But they’re saying that is just based on the quad and the calf need to get a little bit stronger still. When that happens, I’ll be good. I’m just doing physical therapy and still working on that.”
Weidman will return to his original weight class and doesn’t see himself having any issues making the middleweight mark. The 38-year-old got his first taste of action since his injury when he lost a decision to Owen Livesey in a grappling match at Polaris 23 earlier this month and is eyeing a summer octagon comeback.
“I think in the summer – sometime in the summer,” Weidman said. “I was saying June, but I’m thinking maybe International Fight Week. Sometime around that time period, I’ll be good to go (at) 185. I got down to 210 for this grappling event and my weight’s not flying back up again, so I’ll be good. I’ll be good to make 185 now.”
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For Weidman, going through this painful experience has him intent on defying the odds in a comeback. He recalls the horrific night, and all he could think of was when Anderson Silva was lying on the ground when he broke his leg in their title-fight rematch at UFC 168.
“As soon as I broke my leg and I saw it, I go, ‘Holy crap!’ I saw the bones and everything,” Weidman said. “I just remembered Anderson Silva screaming in pain, like someone was murdering him. And I know this is going to suck and here comes – and as soon as I felt the pain kick in I was just begging people ‘Please!’
“Now they’re moving my leg around. They’re trying to hold it into place as they get me on a stretcher and all this crap, and the bones are moving around. And the pain – I can’t even explain the pain. The pain was the worst thing I could ever imagine. I kept begging them to give me pain pills: ‘Give me something quick. Put me to sleep. Get me on painkillers. Knock me out. I cannot deal with this.’ This is not meant for human beings to deal with.”