In the second round of last night's UFC 168 main event, middleweight title challenger and former champion Anderson Silva suffered a horrific leg break that ended not only the fight but possibly his career. Silva's opponent, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, checked an attempted leg kick from Silva and Silva's left tibia and fibula broke on contact.
Following the collision, Silva went down and the fight was stopped at the 1:16 mark of the second round. Chris Weidman was awarded the victory by TKO due to injury. During the post-event press conference, UFC president Dana White told the media that Silva was transported to hospital for immediate surgery on the broken leg. Silva remains in the hospital today following successful surgery.
A press release sent out this morning revealed that the UFC's Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Steven Sanders performed the surgery and Silva received an intramedullary rod into his left tibia. The fibula was stabilized during surgery and did not require a rod or additional surgery. No further surgery will be scheduled at this time.
While the stated time of recovery according to the press release for this injury is three to six months, a similar injury to former UFC fighter Corey Hill in 2008 kept him out of action for two full years. At age 38, Anderson Silva has likely fought his final fight in the UFC regardless of timetable for recovery.
While it is potentially a sad ending to a phenomenal career, the mark Anderson Silva left on the UFC is engraved in stone. His legacy is that of the greatest champion in the history of not just the UFC but in all of mixed martial arts. Silva's UFC run included sixteen wins in a row and ten title defenses of the UFC middleweight championship before his two losses to Weidman.
If Silva never fights again, the injury will not overshadow his career.
UFC 168 took place last night at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Nevada. It aired live on pay per view. Below is the official statement released by the UFC on behalf of Anderson Silva.
"Anderson is deeply touched by the outpouring of support from his fans and the entire MMA community. There has been no immediate decision about his future, and he would kindly ask for privacy at this time as he deals with his injury and prepares to return home to recover."