Chris Weidman is not done yet. The former UFC middleweight champion may have suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in recent memory when he snapped his right leg at UFC 261, but he would like to return to competition regardless.
Weidman has undergone surgery to fix the completely broken tibia and fibula he sustained, which was done by inserting a titanium rod in his leg. The recovery process will take several months, effectively ruling him out for the rest of the year, but Weidman says he still wants to fight.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Weidman explained why he is so focused on coming back after making a full recovery from surgery.
“It’s just so frustrating, and I know how much work it’s gonna take, but yeah, this is what I want,” said Weidman. “I just know how good I am, and I want to be able to prove it. I don’t have many more years left of being able to do that. My body never felt so good before this fight. I just can’t believe this happened. It just sucks. I was really excited to show the world how good I am, to put it out there, but this happened. So I just want an opportunity to go out there and do what I know I’m capable of while I still can.
“If I can get my body back to where I feel like I’m that guy again, I 100 percent want to fight. I want to be able to demonstrate the talents I have and put on a show and also be able to inspire other people. Coming back from this is not gonna be easy, and it’s way tougher of a recovery already the first 10 days than I could have ever imagined. So it’s gonna be a long, long road. I’m not gonna be able to walk for, I think, two months, put weight on it and stuff, so I am completely bedridden.”
Weidman continues to update fans on his recovery process and while there are some concerns about worst case scenarios such as amputation, he is working on one thing at a time. The most pressing issue at the moment is his inability to feel anything at the bottom of his foot and in some of his toes.
Weidman is going to meet with a physical therapist to hopefully help mitigate the nerve damage. Although he remains optimistic, Weidman is conscious of the nerve damage being permanent and that may affect his fighting career significantly.
“My foot still hasn’t had complete feeling come back yet, so the bottom of my foot and some of the toes are still almost like your foot fell asleep,” said Weidman. “There’s no telling with nerves how long they take to come back or if they ever come back. It may never come back, so that’s not a good thing because I think I was talking to my surgeon or another doctor and they were saying for athletes, like the proprioceptors in your foot are super valuable obviously, so I need to get that feeling back in my foot. I could move my toes, I could feel they’re there, they’re just not normal. They’re still like sleeping. So I’m hoping that goes back.”
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