Chris Weidman is recovering from surgery after suffering one of the worst injuries in UFC history.
Weidman (15-6) snapped his leg in shocking fashion against Uriah Hall (17-9) at UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Florida.
The former UFC middleweight champion was immediately rushed to hospital shortly after being carried out of the Octagon on a stretcher.
The UFC have not confirmed the extent of the injury he suffered on Saturday night.
His wife provided the following statement on Sunday afternoon (via Instagram): ‘Well that was horrible. Freak things happen in life and plans get crushed. It’s been a lonnnggg day but so happy to finally see this man of mine post surgery. Everything went well thank you Lord!
‘My heart breaks for my husband because I know the work and dedication that he puts into his training everyday and the great man that he is, so I only want the best for him. While this absolutely sucks in the moment and for some weeks to come, we are completely overwhelmed by the love and support we have far and wide and are very aware how blessed we are. All of that overpowers the awfulness of this situation.
‘We are blown away by our friends and family offering to hop on flights to come help us without hesitation. We are so grateful and love you all!! It’s been a crazy year so far but us Weidmans are a force and covered in Grace and Mercy everyday! We were reminded this year how precious each day is and I am so thankful to be spending another day on earth next to my love even if it’s in a hospital room far from home.’
UFC president Dana White spoke of his concern in the aftermath of the incident, following Kamaru Usman’s KO win over Jorge Masvidal, which was overshadowed by the injury.
In his post-fight interview, Hall expressed his sympathy for his long-term rival.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Chris Weidman,” he said to Joe Rogan. “He’s truly one of the best. It is a crazy story that he was the first man I fought that defeated me, that introduced me to fear. I wanted to put on a great performance.”
He added: “I feel so bad for him. I hope he’s OK. I wish the family well. It’s the sucky part of this sport, I hope he recovers.”
In a bizarre twist of fate, Weidman’s former opponent Anderson Silva was on the receiving end of a similar injury in their rematch at UFC 163 in July 2013.
The Brazilian was stunned by Weidman once again eight years ago as the American secured a shocking second-round stoppage after he checked a low leg kick from Silva.
He sent a heartfelt message of support to his former opponent after watching the fight at UFC 261.
Silva is set to face Julio Chavez Jr in June in a ten-round boxing match following his release from the UFC.