Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman suffered a horror injury in his fight with Uriah Hall last April. In that fight Weidman inexplicably broke his leg in the exact same manner as Anderson Silva did during their UFC title rematch back in 2013.
Since that injury Weidman has been steadfast in his desire to fight another day. This is despite Weidman needing multiple surgeries to repair his leg and an extremely long rehab process.
Weidman recently appeared on MMA Fighting’s The Fighter vs. The Writer podcast where he discussed his recovery and his hopes for the imminent future.
“I want to fight before I turn 38 in June,” he said. “That’s my goal. ... So if I could fight around early June, that would be great. Again, there’s a lot in the air and it’s very unpredictable.”
“This is a very serious injury,” continued Weidman. “I’ve been through lots of injuries before, obviously you know I’ve had 25 surgeries. This is very different. There’s a lot of moving parts. So I have goals when I’d like to fight but I’m not going to die over a month or two difference. I am coming back and I am coming back in 2022.”
Weidman has returned to the gym and is drilling all areas of MMA. Even though he feels he is closing in on fighting shape, Weidman admitted that his leg is still causing him trouble.
“My leg’s not where I need it to be yet, to be happy going into the Octagon against world class guys and think I can be the best in the world. It’s not there yet just because of strength and a little bit of pain I’m still dealing in the lower leg while moving around.
“But it’s progressively getting better and I think in the next month or two, I’ll be to the point where I’m happy with it and then I can start like a pre-training camp. Get my body back into hardcore shape and see how the body deals with a camp. Like a mock training camp and then I’ll get into it and then I’ll probably call the UFC and try to set up a fight and get into a real training camp. I’ve been training hard.”
Weidman added that he felt he could “walk into a fight tomorrow and probably win” against many fighters in the UFC. However, he made it clear that he didn’t think he was ready to compete with fighters at the upper echelon of the sport.
The former champion also discussed why he wants to come back to fighting.
“A lot of people out there are like ‘why are you doing this? You already became champion. What’s the point of putting yourself back out there, possibly getting knocked out, possibly getting hurt again. People think I have other abilities to make money and why would you be doing this?
“Honestly, I’m not doing it for the money. I’m not doing it for any other reason than I truly love it.”
Prior to fighting Hall, Weidman scored a unanimous decision win over Omari Akhmedov at 2020’s UFC Vegas 6. Prior to that he lost back-to-back contests, both by KO, to Dominick Reyes and Jacare Souza.
After a 9-0 start to his MMA career Weidman faced Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight tile at UFC 182 in 2013. He won that fight by KO, ending Silva’s long and historic run as champion.
The rematch, a few months later, is when Silva suffered his horrific injury. Weidman went on to defend his title versus Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort before dropping the belt to Luke Rockhold in 2015.