Chris Weidman kicked Uriah Hall's calf and immediately his fighting future quickly went into doubt that April night in Jacksonville, Florida.
His leg snapped on contact and then suffered more damage when he planted his foot and his lower leg folded under him in a way the human body never intended. A huge silence fell upon the crowd in the arena, and everywhere else people were watching UFC 261.
It was only the third time in UFC history that such an injury occurred. Weidman, the former UFC middleweight champion from Baldwin, has been involved in two of them: this one, and when his check of a kick from Anderson Silva broke Silva's leg in their title rematch at UFC 168 in December 2013.
The outpouring of support Weidman received in both direct contacts and social media has led the former champion to document much of his recovery and rehab. Here's a look at some of what Weidman has gone through in just over a month as he recovers from breaking both the tibia and fibula in his right leg:
On April 27, Weidman posted X-rays of the titanium rods inserted in his leg.
Where the bone came through
The next day, when back home in South Carolina, Weidman showed the incisions on his leg, including his calf where the bone ripped through his calf muscle and punctured the skin when he placed his foot on the ground after the kick.
Foot on the ground
On May 11, two weeks after surgery, Weidman posted a video of him using an anti-gravity treadmill, which uses air press to unweight the patient and help normalize walking again in the early stages of recovering from injury. With that machine, he was able to put his foot on the ground and attempt to walk normally again.
Progressing to crutches
Two days later, Weidman was shown walking with the just the use of crutches, his right leg still heavily bandaged.
Why is his leg purple?
Three weeks removed from surgery, Weidman posted a photo of him standing up, with the aid of crutches and his right leg unwrapped. His right leg is noticeably darker than the left leg. He explains why in his post.
This one may get a little too, um, in-depth, for some viewers, so here's a summary of the 14-minute video posted on May 25. Weidman had the stitches removed from where the bone cut through his calf muscle. At home. By his cousin. Under doctor's orders, though. The beginning of the video is OK, but if close-up camera work of sizable wounds isn't your thing, feel free to move on to the next.
On May 29, a month and two days after surgery, Weidman again was on the anti-gravity treadmill with 50% of his body weight being used to walk.
Weidman walks alone
The second-longest reigning middleweight champion in UFC history walked alone on this day, May 28. It was 34 days earlier that Weidman had surgery after first suffering the injury on April 24.