In what would prove to be the only strike of the fight, Weidman threw a right leg kick. Anticipating the blow, Hall checked the kick. The result of this was catastrophic for Weidman, as his lower right leg snapped upon impact. Footage of the horrific break can be seen further down this article, but viewer discretion is advised.
The seriousness of the situation was immediately obvious to all in attendance, with referee Herb Dean calling an immediate halt to the contest after just 17 seconds of the opening round.
The fight marks the first time in UFC history that a fighter has ever won by TKO without throwing a single strike. However, that piece of history is something Hall wishes he had no part of.
The Jamaican was clearly devastated by the outcome, looking visibly upset as Weidman was loaded onto a stretcher and carried out of the Octagon.
That same feeling extended to members of the crowd at the sold-out VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. The UFC announce team revealed on the broadcast that several fans close to the action could be seen in tears.
There have only been three instances of a broken leg due to a checked kick in the promotion’s long history. Incredibly, Weidman has featured in two of them.
The former middleweight champion broke the fibula and tibia of Anderson Silva during their title fight at UFC 168 in December 2013. In a cruel twist of fate, Weidman was on the receiving end of a similar injury on Saturday night.
The 36-year old is due to undergo surgery on his leg in just a few hours as of writing this article.
Hall paid a classy tribute to his fallen opponent during his post-fight interview, saying: “I wanted to put on a great performance, but man, I feel so bad for him,” he told Joe Rogan.
“I hope he’s OK. I wish his family well, if they’re watching. It’s the sucky part of this sport. It’s the hurt business. … I hope he recovers and then hey, whatever rank I am in the future, if he gets well, I owe him this fight. I hope he can come back from this.”
We all join Hall in wishing Weidman a swift recovery.