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Chris Weidman thanks fans for well-wishes after gruesome leg injury at UFC 261

Chris Weidman of the United States leaves the

Chris Weidman of the United States leaves the fight on a stretcher after breaking his leg on a kick attempt to Uriah Hall of Jamaica during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. Credit: Getty Images/Alex Menendez

Lying in a hospital bed in Florida and with a gravelly voice in the early hours of Monday morning, Chris Weidman thanked everyone for the outpouring of support he received after breaking his leg in a gruesome injury on Saturday night at UFC 261.

"I just want to let everyone know that I’m so thankful for all the love and support, I really do want to get back to you all," Weidman said in a video he posted on his Instagram account.

The Baldwin-raised Weidman broke both the tibia and fibula in his lower right leg when the kick he landed just below Uriah Hall’s knee was checked. Weidman instantly crumbled to the mat as his leg folded underneath in the opposite direction the human anatomy intended for it. It was the first strike of the fight, just 17 seconds into the bout.

The former UFC middleweight champion said the surgery "went well." Doctors at University of Florida Health in Jacksonville put a titanium rod in his tibia, Weidman said, and with that, they expected the fibula to be able to heal on its own.

"It’s pretty brutal but I’m going to get through this," the 36-year-old Weidman said.

Weidman expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Queens-raised Hall, who was awarded the TKO victory due to injury, for the class and respect he showed in his interviews afterward. Both fighters had been excited about their rematch after facing each other nearly 11 years ago when they were rising middleweight prospects.

Weidman also expressed gratitude to Anderson Silva, who posted an uplifting message and well-wishes after the injury happened at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, the first UFC event with an arena full of fans since March 2020.

Silva suffered the same type of injury against Weidman in December 2013 at UFC 168. Silva broke his left leg in that fight when Weidman checked a kick. Silva returned 13 months later.

"I’m trying to find the blessing in disguise, the silver lining," Weidman said. "Honestly, as soon as it happened and I hit the floor and saw what happened to my leg and the pain started hitting me, I was just trying to put my mind on something positive that’s going to come out of this."

Weidman said it would be eight weeks before he can walk again without crutches, drive a car and perform similar "normal" activities.

As for when he could resume training, Weidman said, "They said between six and 12 months, I’ll be good to go."

New York Sports