Chris Weidman is officially back.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Monday following an initial report from Newsday.
The fight serves as Weidman’s first appearance in the UFC since a gruesome compound fracture and broken leg ended his fight against Uriah Hall in April 2021. The injury occurred after he threw a kick just seconds into the fight, and his leg snapped from the impact, sending him to the canvas writhing in pain.
Weidman immediately had surgery to repair the damage done, and a rod was placed in his leg to stabilize the broken bones. He ultimately had to undergo another surgery to place a plate in his leg, but he continued to rehabilitate the injury with the intention of returning to fighting.
In a recent appearance, Weidman fought back tears after participating in a grappling match in March on UFC Fight Pass.
“These last two years have been the hardest years of my life,” he said afterward. “I don’t want to cry, I’m not going to cry, but I don’t know if you know this, but I snapped my leg in half in April 2021, and I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to compete again in anything, and so to able to come out here and put a show for you guys, win or lose, is truly a dream.”
Now, Weidman looks to fight again in the cage.
As for Tavares, the 35-year-old veteran looks to bounce back after suffering back-to-back losses in his most recent fights, including a first-round TKO to Bruno Silva in April. Overall, he has gone 2-2 in his previous four UFC fights, which included wins over Omari Akhmedov and Antonio Carlos Junior.