The MMA world was stunned Saturday night when UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman checked a low kick, hideously breaking the leg of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Silva's corner reported that Silva had felt a crack in the first round. Thus he may have had a fractured leg already, and then kicked with with it.
Although in the sport's only similar injury, to Cory Hill, the fighter returned after 14 months, many fans immediately thought that the 38-year-old Silva was unlikely to ever fight again.
Stephie Daniels, because she is awesome like that, did not just speculate with the rest of MMA fans, friends, and professonals. Instead, she reached out to renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Steve Mora, who specializes in sports injury and frequently treats MMA athletes.
"His age is not a big contributing factor," said Dr. Mora. "38 is not old when it comes to this injury. As far as this injury healing properly, he should have an excellent chance, if it's an uncomplicated fracture without nerve damage. He's a healthy man, so the bone should heal properly. The people that have problems with healing fractures are the elderly or people with major health problems.
"How long is it going to take to heal? The injury could take 3-6 months to heal, and then to be recovered enough to get back to fighting, it could take a year, not because of age, but because of the nature of the fracture. They tend to be stubborn to heal in everybody. I think there's a very good chance that he heals and recovers sufficiently to get back to his fighting career. That's obviously if he wants to. He'll have to get over some hurdles, but it's quite possible that he can."
The UFC released a statement regarding the injury injury:
"Following Saturday evening's UFC 168 main event, former champion Anderson Silva was taken to a local Las Vegas hospital where he underwent surgery to repair a broken left leg. The successful surgery, performed by Dr. Steven Sanders, the UFC's orthopedic surgeon, inserted an intramedullary rod into Anderson's left tibia. The broken fibula was stabilized and does not require a separate surgery. Anderson will remain in the hospital for a short while, but no additional surgery is scheduled at this time. Recovery time for such injuries may vary between three and six months.
"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."
"The Spider" himself tweeted briefly, apologizing to the fans in his native Portuguese.
Anderson Silva @SpiderAnderson
Brasil sinto muito não queria ter desapontado vocês dei o meu melhor eu juro
(Translation: Brazil I'm sorry to have disappointed you. I gave my best I swear.)
Silva later posted a more positive message, via Instagram:
I want to thank all my fans and friends for their support and caring message, I'm fine now and I need to be with my family, a good rest with my children and wife will help me in recovery. Thanks Brazil.
Silva's co-manager Jorge Guimaraes said the fighter will be transferred to a Las Vegas hotel Sunday night for a day or two, before returning to his home in LA.
"He's fine," said Guimaraes. "Just sad and in pain."
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