Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman suffered a devastating broken leg from the first kick he threw in his fight against Uriah Hall on the UFC 261 main card on Saturday night.
The action had barely started when Weidman threw the opening salvo with a kick that Hall checked and the break happened immediately as his leg wrapped around the shin in a moment that was difficult to watch. As soon as Weidman attempted to step back down, his leg gave way and he fell to the ground in agonizing pain as the referee stepped into stop the fight.
The end came at just 17 seconds into the first round.
The first fighter in @ufc history to win without a single strike thrown #UFC261 pic.twitter.com/zxyu5XhYu3— danawhite (@danawhite) April 25, 2021
Medical personnel rushed into the cage to attend to Weidman, who was understandably dealing with an unbelievable amount of pain from the broken leg. He was eventually taken out on a stretcher where he will be transported to a local hospital for treatment.
It was somber ending to a highly anticipated fight and Hall could only pay tribute to Weidman afterwards as he earned the TKO victory but that was far from the way he wanted to get a win.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Chris Weidman,” Hall said. “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. I hope he’s OK. It’s a sucky part of this sport. It’s the hurt business. I’ve got nothing bad to say about him.”
Can't keep a champion down.— UFC (@ufc) April 25, 2021
Wishing @ChrisWeidman a speedy recovery pic.twitter.com/QuUdDQFVh2
It was an eerily similar setting to a scene almost eight years ago when Weidman was facing former champion Anderson Silva in a rematch at UFC 168. On that night, Silva threw a kick that Weidman checked and his leg broke as soon as there was impact.
Silva eventually returned to the cage 13 months later as he was able to continue his fighting career.
As for Hall, he could only offer Weidman his best wishes as well as promising a rematch after such a shocking ending to the fight on Saturday night.
“I hope he recovers,” Hall said. “Whatever rank I am in the future, if he gets well, I owe him this fight. I hope he can come back from it. You’re still one of the best Chris.”