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Chris Weidman recounts the moment he realized his leg snapped at UFC 261: ‘It was like a nightmare’

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UFC 261: Hall v Weidman
Chris Weidman
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

When Chris Weidman landed a thudding leg kick on Uriah Hall at UFC 261 this past weekend, he was only thinking about the impact and the damage done to his opponent.

A split second later when the former UFC middleweight champion attempted to step down on his foot was when he realized that the sound he heard was his own bones snapping as he fell to the floor in agony.

“As soon as I hit him with that kick, I knew it was super hard,” Weidman said during an Instagram live session on Thursday. “It was so concussive, the sound I do remember. Now looking back, it was my whole leg snapping but I didn’t realize that. I just thought it was a crazy good leg kick that landed super hard. I remember looking at Uriah Hall in the face and he had this poker face on and I’m like ‘yeah, bro, I know that one hurt you.’ I knew he was going to be feeling that and all I could think about was like I land one more of those, he has to go down cause that was freaking brutal.

“As I put my foot down, I don’t remember putting my foot down and feeling any of the pain or anything like that cause I was still focused on letting him know that I was good. I guess as my leg snapped underneath me, I happened to look down and when I see my leg look like rubber, that’s when I think I just went into a crazy, weird spot. I went face down and it was like a nightmare. In my head I’m like there’s no way that was my leg. There’s no way I was just looking at my leg and my leg was looking like that.”

Weidman was so motionless in that moment that he remembers referee Herb Dean shouting that he had gone unconscious, but he motioned to let them know that he was still awake. When medical personnel came into the cage to check him out, Weidman says that they moved his leg around, which caused him an extreme amount of pain.

Eventually, a stretcher was brought into the cage where Weidman was loaded up and carted out of the VyStar Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.

According to Weidman, he wasn’t allowed any painkillers until he was placed in the ambulance and that’s when he heard the people attending to him talking about struggling to find a pulse in his foot.

He knew that meant there was a possibility that his foot was dying from a lack of blood flow and that’s when worst case scenarios started creeping into his mind, which forced him to battle back against it.

“Honestly, I remember thinking even if they have to cut off my leg and give me a prosthetic leg, I’ll be able to still do things with my kids,” Weidman said. “I started thinking of positive things out of the whole thing.”

The next day, Weidman underwent surgery where a titanium rod was placed into his leg from the knee down to the ankle to help stabilize the bone.

He was prescribed a number of medications to aid in his recovery including muscle relaxers, antibiotics, painkillers like oxycodone, laxatives and blood thinners, which came as a result of a compound fracture suffered during the initial injury.

A compound fracture is when a bone actually breaks through the skin, which Weidman described in graphic detail.

“When I stepped my foot back after I kicked, I put all my weight back on my foot that was broken, the leg obviously snapped and the bone went shooting through my calf muscle and out my skin,” Weidman said.

“So they’re worried about blood clots because of that trauma so I’m on tons of blood thinners. I think I have to be on blood thinners for like 45 days.”

Throughout his athletic career, Weidman has faced plenty of adversity including a number of surgeries to put his body back together again after various injuries suffered over the years.

He says nothing compares to the agony felt from breaking his leg.

“I’ve had 23 surgeries in my life,” Weidman said. “I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs but I will say this is the most traumatic and most painful thing I’ve ever been through. I know it’s going to take a long time. It’s really tough for me.”

With months of rehabilitation ahead of him, Weidman revealed that he will be launching a blog series on his YouTube channel where he plans to offer constant updates on his recovery.

As of now, Weidman can’t say for certain when he will actually be cleared to return to the cage, but he’s determined that make sure that day will come eventually.

“I do think I’ll fight again,” Weidman said. “I’m staying really positive with that. I need to start working out quick, even if it’s upper body stuff. I need to find out when I can do that.

“I’m going to go see the doctor on May 10 and that’s when they take out all the stitches and giving me a game plan of what this is going to look like for recovery. I’m really looking forward to seeing that doctor and coming up with that game plan. Cause right now, I don’t like just being in a state of not knowing what’s going on with my life.”

Since the injury occurred, Weidman has been contacted by thousands of fans as well as fellow fighters offering him support as he begins the long recovery process.

While this has obviously been a trying time, Weidman appreciates the outpouring of attention he’s received as he begins an arduous journey towards standing on his own two feet again.

“I’m blown away by the amount of support and love, prayers, uplifting comments, just good energy, I got after my fight on April 24,” Weidman said. “It’s been really amazing to feel all the love.”