One of the most anticipated rematches in years took a highly unexpected turn as Chris Weidman retained the middleweight crown after Anderson Silva broke his left leg in the second round at UFC 168 on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
Questions now abound as to whether the Brazilian legend will retire after he went for a simple leg kick, which Weidman blocked and snapped the 38-year-old Silva's leg at the 1:16 mark in the second.
Falling to canvas and writhing in pain, it was a shocking ending for a venue packed with Brazilian fans cheering on Silva, who just six months ago was atop of the sport as the longest reigning champion in history.
Even before the horrific injury, Weidman said Silva looked dazed after the champion had landed several significant strikes to the head early.
"No matter what happened in this fight, he's still the greatest of all time. I wish him the best, and God bless him," Weidman said after the fight. "That was the No. 1 thing I got hit with the first fight. I worked a lot with guys with kicks. But it's still crazy how that happened. There was a point I was just thinking, 'Ref, stop the fight.' His eyes were in the back of his head for a lot of those punches."
Weidman moved to 11-0 after his first successful title defense, and Silva dropped to 33-6, the first time he’s lost consecutive fights in his illustrious career.
In the months leading up to the rematch, Silva maintained his focus and also sidestepped any questions regarding retirement. But after such a gruesome injury that should take months of healing and rehabilitation retirement could now be at the forefront of Silva’s mind.
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