By Dane McGuire
Chris Weidman’s return to UFC action after a leg break in April 2021, like that of Anderson Silva, was a beautiful story. But, he still came up short against Brad Tavares losing on the scorecards, 30-27.
Tavares did go after the legs of Weidman and it got the job done. UFC President Dana White shared with media members afterward that Weidman believes he is injured again and called for Weidman to retire.
“I love Chris Weidman – I love him,” White told MMA Junkie and other reporters post-fight at UFC 292. “I love his family. I think he should retire. We talked to Dr. (Davidson). He thinks he blew his ACL, MCL – he blew one of the CLs. The guy is just coming back from a gruesome injury and, listen man: Father Time is not our friend at all, but definitely if you’re a professional athlete.
“Depending on the damage to the knee, you’re talking another year. So I would say: ‘Chris, I love you. Please, please retire.’”
Weidman is on a 2-7 stretch but later told ESPN he wants to continue on in the octagon.
“I’m not done,” Weidman told ESPN during the UFC 292 post-fight show. “I’ll be back better than ever, but this was a good opportunity for me to get back in the octagon.”
“I can’t believe he leg kicked me. When he started leg kicking me, I was like, ‘You b*stard. You’re such a nice dude, why are you freaking leg kicking me?’ Then when he kicked my surgery leg, that’s kind of what pissed me off.”
Weidman had to use a wheelchair afterward and seemed to downplay the impact of the bout despite what White had said about his ACL or MCL. Tavares landed 41 of 45 attempted leg kicks.
“Both legs hurt pretty bad,” Weidman said. “I’m on a wheelchair that they’re pushing me in. The surgery leg one is pretty puffy, I don’t think there’s any serious damage. I have a rod in the middle of that thing, but there’s definitely going to be some pain for the next week or so.”
Before the fight, Weidman had expressed frustration and motivation about being on the prelims rather than a main card bout–typical for fighters on the come-up or near retirement. His record now drops to 15-7 overall and 11-7 in the UFC. Tavares improves to 20-8 and 15-8 in the UFC.
“Weidman reached the pinnacle of the sport and did it in spectacular fashion, knocking out the greatest of all time (in Anderson Silva),” White added. “What now? Why? To come back and feel it one more time? He felt it tonight, and he blew his knee out and he’s going to have to go through crazy surgery again and recover from it. It’s just like, why? You’ve done it all. You’ve accomplished everything that you could hope to accomplish in the UFC.”