Stunned silence. That is the only way to describe the crowd in the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday as the screams of Anderson Silva rang out. The greatest champion in UFC history lay writhing in pain as fans stood frozen. Then a gasp broke the silence as every monitor in the arena showed Silva’s broken leg retreat after the kick delivered to Chris Weidman.
The dramatic second-round ending to the UFC 168 middleweight title fight leaves Silva facing a decision: rehab or retire? Meanwhile, questions remain about Chris Weidman’s abilities: Did he retain the belt because of Silva’s injury, or because he’s a superior fighter?
Weidman had taken Silva down at will the first round and caught him with a few clean punches that rocked the challenger. But with 30 seconds left in that round Silva nearly secured a head-triangle choke on Weidman, and looked primed to carry that momentum into the next round.
Round two began with Silva using his striking to keep Weidman at bay and his best maneuver was his potent leg kicks, which kept Weidman at a safe distance and allowed Silva to maneuver around the octagon. That same leg kick would be Silva’s downfall. After landing the first two kicks cleanly, the third broke both Silva’s tibia and fibula bones. Silva fell to the ground in pain; the fight was over.
Silva, who lost once to Weidman in August, likely never envisioned himself going out with consecutive KO losses. He hasn’t made any announcement about his intentions, so time will tell whether the ‘Spider,’ who faces a lengthy rehab, really wants to come back.
More UFC 168 Fight Recaps:
- Women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was pushed past the first round for the first time of her career but won via armbar against challenger Miesha Tate. Rousey was booed by fans during a post-fight interview for refusing to shake Tate’s hand after the fight.
- Travis Browne made quick works of his opponent, Josh Barnett. Browne won by 1st round KO (elbows to the head) and positioned himself for a #1 contender fight in the heavyweight division.
- Uriah Hall forced Chris Leben to throw in the towel after the first round of action in their bout. Hall landed a thunderous left hook to the temple of Leben that left him disoriented when the bell rang to end the round. Leben then asked his corner to stop the fight due to his inability to gather himself.