Was Weidman's defense 'dirty technique'?


As Anderson Silva threw his leg kick at Chris Weidman, the champion put a slight bend in his knee, lifted it slightlly, and turned it in to 'check' the kick. The technique made Silva's lower shin meet with Weidman's upper shin just below his knee, which of course was disastrous for Silva:

<a href=Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman" width="500" height="368" />

Of course the technique earned Weidman the victory and defense of his UFC middleweight title, but should we consider this a dirty technique? BloodyElbow's Connor Ruebusch weighed in on the subject in his latest piece:

However, some have now come forward decrying Chris Weidman's too-successful kick check "dirty."

That's not understandable, and it's not okay.

Notably, Dave Walsh of Middle Easy and Liver Kickk had this to say on his site mmanuts.com:

Chris Weidman drilled it all of the time and used it in training! He knew exactly what he was doing, so therefore it wasn’t a fluke injury, it was… Well, this is where things get kind of messy, right? If Weidman’s trainer calls it the "Destruction" and talks about breaking guys legs with it, Chris Weidman using it and knowing the possible outcome is a bit reckless, especially considering the outcome of the fight.

He elaborates:

In case you didn’t catch what I was doing, that was not entirely serious. No, I don’t think that Chris Weidman intended to end Anderson Silva’s career or even break his leg. You know why? Because you can’t predict an injury like that, it is in its very nature a fluke injury and I’m going to explain why it was a fluke injury.

My issue with this statement is the use of the word "fluke." Was the gruesome break that Silva suffered expected? Of course not. Weidman himself admitted that he felt bad for Silva when he realized the extent of the injury; he also said that his own training partners usually responded to the check by wincing and walking it off for a minute before resuming sparring.

I will grant that Anderson's leg breaking was not a predictable outcome, but with a technique designed to damage the shins of the opponent, it cannot be called a fluke either. Nor can that technique be called dirty, any more so than a punch which is intended to render the opponent unconscious, or a submission which is meant to hyperextend his joints.

My personal analysis? This is one of the pitfalls of being such a defensive genius that you can go on fighting late into your career. Anderson's brain is likely still in very good shape compared to his compatriots (such as poor, roadworn Chris Leben, who began fighting at around the same time), but his bones are not what they once were. This is what happens when a 38 year-old shin meets one ten years its junior. Unfortunately, this also means that Anderson will likely have to spend much more time in recovery than a younger fighter.

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Recent Comments »

Lazer MMA site profile image  

1/3/14 10:32 AM by Lazer MMA

Oh well I can't edit for some reason. How 'lucky' I meant

Lazer MMA site profile image  

1/3/14 10:27 AM by Lazer MMA

Dude stop taking things personally lol. I never said you said that. Posters though wrote threads on how luck he was. So this is just some truth instead.

The Sauce site profile image  

1/3/14 9:44 AM by The Sauce

Please show me where I wrote his win was a fluke? Or Chris didn't deserve to win?

Lazer MMA site profile image  

1/3/14 9:36 AM by Lazer MMA

It relates to the topic of calling in it a freak accident. I agree with Jack Slack, if you're looking to hurt a guy with a technique (to try to stop leg kicks being thrown at you, and as others have also had their legs broken facing the technique)and succeed, it no "accident"; moreover though, one must also look at the numbers themselves (the empirical evidence) to see how rare it is when answering that same question of 'freak accident' clearly!So we know per the source that even at the lower levels of Muay Thai it is considered a dirty technique because it can hurt guys badly (in conjunction with other reasons stated prior) and it is very rarely used in MMA too. Hard to gauge the numbers to support such assertion as 'freak accident' looking only at the numbers under these circumstances too IMO.Either way at the end of the day Chris deserves his credit. He practiced and used a technique rarely seen in MMA to try to stop leg kicks being thrown at him which had the potential to injure (as occurred before) and he broke a man's leg with it. LegitFor those who would say I'm a fan of Chris or expected victory in either fight you're incorrect.

Aaron Becker site profile image  

1/3/14 9:08 AM by Aaron Becker

makes me wonder sometimes, I have a feeling the people saying it was dirty got a lot of participation awards when they were younger

The Sauce site profile image  

1/2/14 9:04 PM by The Sauce

Sure I guess it's rare?.... But I don't see that relates to the topic?

iwatchsomemma site profile image  

1/2/14 6:54 PM by iwatchsomemma

So defending yourself from getting hurt is dirty while throwing a low leg kick full force is not dirty?LOL, is this fighting we're even talking about?

DoomFarmer site profile image  

1/2/14 6:52 PM by DoomFarmer

Mean spirited?

MasterofMartialArts site profile image  

1/2/14 6:48 PM by MasterofMartialArts

Well yes but a knee is a typical finishing technique. Kick check, not so much. It's not a dirty technique though, don't know who originally said it was.

greentrousers site profile image  

1/2/14 6:37 PM by greentrousers

it's not dirty but it is mean spirited, and you cannot be naive to think your opponent is not going to be mean spirited towards you. as i recall from few muay thai classes that i took, checking the kick is not only a defensive but also an offensive strategy, specially if you meet the other fighter half way. you want to hurt just as much if not more than feel your opponents painful kick.so i believe weidman wasn't really thinking of breaking silva's leg; but you bet your ass he was thinking of making him pay everytime he threw a kick.