The first kick Weidman (15-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) threw, with his right leg, Hall (17-9 MMA, 10-7 UFC) lifted his left leg to check it. When he did, Weidman’s lower right leg folded like it was made of rubber. Weidman then stepped on the leg and went down. The fight was stopped immediately just 17 seconds in.
In December 2013, in his first defense of the UFC middleweight title against Silva, whom he beat for the belt earlier that year, Weidman checked a Silva kick and snapped Silva’s leg. The only real difference between the Silva kick that Weidman checked, and the Weidman kick that Hall checked more than seven years later was left leg vs. right leg.
The injury kept Silva out for more than a year and is known as one of the most gruesome injuries in the sport’s history.
Weidman’s left leg was put into a compression boot and he was taken from the cage on a stretcher. During replays shown in the arena, the reported 15,000 fans in attendance let out seemingly unanimous groans. The event was the UFC’s first in front of fans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“I’ve got nothing but respect for Chris Weidman,” Hall told Joe Rogan after the fight. “He’s truly one of the best. It is a crazy story that he was the first man I fought that defeated me, that introduced me to fear. … I wanted to put on a great performance. I feel so bad for him. I hope he’s OK. I wish the family well. It’s the sucky part of this sport. … I hope he recovers.”
UFC 261 took place Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. The event was the UFC’s first in front of fans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 261 results include:
- Uriah Hall def. Chris Weidman via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 0:17
- Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
- Randy Brown def. Alex Oliveira via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:50
- Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulic via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 4:55
- Pat Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:50
- Kazula Vargas def. Rong Zhu via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jeffrey Molina def. Qileng Aori via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
- Ariane Carnelossi def. Na Liang via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:28