LAS VEGAS – Anderson Silva's remarkable mixed martial arts career likely came to an end on Saturday in a rematch with Chris Weidman when he gruesomely broke his left leg throwing a kick.
The former champion, Silva was throwing a kick at Weidman in the early stages of the second round. The kick landed and it appeared as Silva's left leg snapped just above the ankle.
Weidman won by technical knockout at 1:16 of the second round in the main event of UFC 168 at the sold-out MGM Grand Garden.
The injury was reminiscent of a gruesome broken leg suffered by Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann in a game against the New York Giants.
Weidman dominated Silva in the first round, nearly knocking Silva out with a right hand that sent Silva's eyes rolling back in his head. Weidman landed a series of elbows from the top and controlled the round, but was not able to finish Silva.
When the second round began, Silva began whipping hard kicks at Weidman. The final one, though, almost certainly ended the career of the man who held the middleweight title for nearly seven years and who holds a significant number of UFC records.
As soon as the kick landed, Silva's shin snapped and it was dangling. Weidman back off and referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop the fight and get the doctors to Silva.
Silva was removed from the cage on a stretcher with a splint on his left leg.
Weidman was interviewed in the cage as Silva lay writhing in pain on the mat and didn't take much joy in how the fight played out.
“We knew that in the last fight he hurt me most with the leg kicks so we trained checking them a lot," Weidman said in the Octagon after the fight. "The goal is to get your knee up and allow them to make contact with their shin right there. As soon as he hit me with that kick and moved backwards I knew right away. There’s no real excitement in a fight finishing like that because you never want to see anyone get hurt like that."
All attention was focused on Silva, who had lost the title via second-round knockout to Weidman at UFC 162 in July. That one, though, came under much different circumstances. Silva stuck his chin out at Weidman and Weidman cracked him with a powerful left hand, stopping him.
This time, Weidman nearly finished it in the first but was no less dominant than he was the last time.