Chris Weidman wants to play with fire in his comeback fight at UFC 292 on Aug. 19, 2023.
The former UFC Middleweight champion is set to return to action for the first time since devastatingly breaking his leg against Uriah Hall in April 2021. A checked kick from Hall spelled disaster for Weidman only 17 seconds into their rematch, leading to a lengthy rehab and recovery process.
Facing Brad Tavares in the promotion’s return to Boston, Massachusetts, Weidman plans to go right back to the strike that put him on the sideline.
“The first thing I’m doing in that fight against Brad Tavares is throwing the hardest leg kick of my life, right on his shinbone,” Weidman said on The MMA Hour. “I do want to do that. It’s worth it, I think it’s important for you to face your fears. Anything you might be uncomfortable with, just go ahead and do it.
“Yeah, that’s why I need to kick with it quick,” he continued. “Get it out of the system. I just hope Brad Tavares, I hope we’re on the same page. He’s not allowed to check the first leg kick. Just let it land, please. Then all is good after that, may the best man win.”
Weidman says that kicking has been no issue since returning to training and that he’s feeling good and healthy again. While Tavares won’t be Weidman’s overall combat sports return, having grappled at Polaris 23 in March 2023, the “All-American” will still have to shake off some cobwebs.
The injury was one of the very rare times such a thing has occurred in UFC and for Weidman, he’s featured in an upcoming documentary that will show the night like never before.
“The producers asked me, ‘Hey, are you OK with us showing your leg break and then maybe you talking through it?’” Weidman said. “I go, ‘Yeah,’ I kind of forced myself to watch that a bunch of times already a long, long time ago, I’m tagged in it every day. They put it on — and I’m used to seeing the same version of it, maybe there’s two different views — [but] they have a view of it that I’d never seen before. It is insane. Because I know my bones came out of my leg, but you don’t ever see it on camera.
“They actually have it to where you see the backside of my calf, where it wraps around the leg and two bones shoot out and blood and everything shoots out and then I fall back down. I did not ever see that. I didn’t think that angle ever existed. Then I’m watching Twitch live and I’m like, ‘What the hell? That’s crazy.’ It’s pretty nuts. I’m sure on the documentary they’ll have that too. You’ve never seen anything like that before.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before where you see the bones just pop right through the skin,” he concluded. “I can’t believe what that looked like. I just can’t believe I’ve been through that, I’m coming back, and I feel as good as I am.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 292 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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