After suffering a horrific broken leg in his last fight, Chris Weidman is targeting his return to action sooner rather than later.
According to the former UFC middleweight champion, his recovery hasn’t been easy but he’s already back in training with hopes that he will be able to book a fight by the middle of the year.
“I want to fight before I turn 38 in June,” Weidman revealed on The Fighter vs. The writer . That’s what I want. When I am introduced, I dislike seeing my older age. I’ve always been like that, even when I was in my 20s. I don’t want to be 29, I want to be 28 for the next one. So I still have that in me a little bit, now I’m just way older. It would be awesome if I could get around June. Again, there’s a lot in the air and it’s very unpredictable.
” This is an extremely serious injury. I’ve been through lots of injuries before, obviously you know I’ve had 25 surgeries. This is very different. There’s a lot of moving parts. So I have goals when I’d like to fight but I’m not going to die over a month or two difference. I am coming back and I am coming back in 2022.”
It’s almost impossible to fathom Weidman competing again this soon after throwing a kick against Uriah Hall at UFC 261 in April 2021 that saw his leg snap before he fell down in the octagon in agonizing pain. Weidman ultimately suffered a compound fracture, which means part of the bone in his leg actually came through his skin.
He underwent surgery the next day to place a rod in his leg to stabilize the broken bone but his recovery from the injury was just starting. Weidman was again hospitalized for three hours to fix a broken tibia and had another rod in his leg placed to support his fibula.
Nothing has been easy but as hard as the healing process has been, Weidman is starting to feel like himself again while training regularly in anticipation that he will fight again.
” I’m doing all the things,” Weidman stated. My leg is not there yet. I want to feel happy when I go into the Octagon against top-notch guys. I believe I can compete with the best. The reason it’s not there is strength, and some pain that I still experience in my lower leg when moving about.
” But it’s getting better. I believe that in the next few months, it will be at the point where it is comfortable for me and then I can begin like a pretraining camp. To get my body in a good shape, and to see how it handles a camp. It’s a training camp, but I will get in it. Then I’ll call the UFC to try and set up a fight so I can get into real training camps. I’ve been training hard.”
While he’s stayed relatively quiet during his recovery since having that second surgery, Weidman has been working hard through rehabilitation before eventually getting back into the gym.
Weidman has realized that his hard work is paying off. He no longer aspires to fight again, but believes that he will be fighting alongside some of the top middleweights around the globe in the UFC.
” I just want to let you all know that right now, I look really great in the gym,” Weidman stated. I’m working with top-notch guys. Some undefeated pro MMA guys in my weight class. I’m doing really good. I feel great.
“I just need to keep my body in good shape and go out on the streets again. I could walk into a fight tomorrow and probably win against a lot of the guys but I still want to be better with my leg. I will take time to improve my physique .”
Of course, Weidman knows some people won’t understand why he’s pushing so hard to fight again, especially with what he’s already accomplished in his career but that’s also exactly why he’s so hungry to get back into the octagon.
“A lot of people out there are like ‘why are you doing this?'” Weidman said. You are already a champion. What’s the point of putting yourself back out there, possibly getting knocked out, possibly getting hurt again. Some people think that I can make more money. Why would they do this?
” I don’t do it to make a living. I’m not doing it for any other reason than I truly love it.”
Weidman stated from the day he left the hospital after having his first surgery that he would only compete again if he truly believed he could still fight at a championship level.
Nothing has changed over the past weeks or months except that now, he is almost ready to make it official with his return in the UFC.
” If I get thrown about the gym, and I notice a decline of my skill set as I go along, then I won’t be sticking around,” Weidman stated. “I know a lot of people say this and I don’t want to sound redundant but I’m just being as honest as I can. Not that I’m going to be fighting forever but right now it looks like my body’s going to give me another chance at this and I know I can fight at the highest level.
“What’s better for me than to create an awesome story? Motivate and inspire others. Everyone saw what happened to me, for me to come back and make a big splash, that really excites me. I’m pumped and I’m going to keep training hard.”