A lot of people may have envisioned how the career of Anderson Silva would end, but collapsing from a broken leg from a checked leg kick probably wouldn’t have even been something imagined.
But the harsh reality is that the career of the man most would feel is the greatest MMA fighter in the history of the sport may have ended with a stretcher taking him to a Las Vegas hospital and emergency surgery.
It’s too early to say whether Silva (33-6) could come back from what UFC President Dana White called one of the two worst injuries in company history, the other being a similar ghastly leg break suffered by Corey Hill on Dec. 10, 2008. Hill came back to fight 13 months later, although has never been able to get back into the UFC, going 4-3 on smaller shows, and hasn’t fought in a year.
Silva turns 39 in April, and had already been discussing retirement before the fight.
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White didn’t want to speculate about Silva’s future as a fighter given he was expected to be in surgery before the evening was over.
"He’s an amazing human being," said White, who talked about how much he admired Silva and how much of a fan he was of the fighter who holds some of the most important UFC records, including the longest winning streak and the longest title reign. "Maybe he’ll want to make a comeback, but who knows. We’ll see what happens. I don’t want to count him out. I don’t want to count him in. The important thing is he gets the surgery and heals up.
"I’m a big fan," he continued. "I have been since he came here. It’s one of those crazy things, in a million years, you don’t expect that. That’ll be a tough thing to come back from. H was taken in for surgery within the next hour. Anderson Silva’s been amazing, maybe the greatest of all-time and it’s a s****y way to see him go out."
Besides age and the retirement talk, which he brought up just before the fight again. Between the time off plus what could be significant damage to his left leg, one of his most important weapons, those are things that add up.
"Yeah, it’s a bad night," said White. "It’s not the way you want to see someone go out. It happened in a basketball game last year. We’re human beings and freak accidents happen, and it sucks when they do."
For Weidman, he beat Silva for the second time, and he was initially happy when the fight was waved off, until realizing just how bad the injury was.
"When I checked the first kick the first time, I knew it hurt him," said Weidman (11-0), who will next defend his title against Vitor Belfort. "When he threw it again, he threw everything into both of those kicks, and I hurt him a lot. I wasn’t sure it broke until he put his foot down and collapsed."
"It’s over, I won, it’s awesome" Weidman said when about his first reaction seeing that the fight was over and he had retained his title. "Then I saw he broke his leg. and I felt bad for him."
While there will be an initial reaction to call it a fluke, the checking of the kick was part of one of the things Weidman worked on the most in this camp.
"I don’t think it was accidental when you try and check a kick and it works," said Weidman. "If I didn’t check the kick, I’d have a bruised leg and he’d pick me part with leg kicks.
"The last fight, the one thing that he really capitalized on was leg kicks," noted Weidman. "It’s probably the most important thing we focused on, stopping his leg kicks. Ray Longo has broken people’s legs with a knee on the shin. I’ve done it a couple of times in sparring. It stops people from kicking. Breaking someone’s leg, I’ve never done that before."