Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman snapped a three-fight losing streak in his last outing. He defeated Kelvin Gastelum by submission in the main event of UFC on FOX 25 in his home state of New York. It was a much needed win for “The All-American,” but he suffered a hand injury during the contest that’s left him sidelined for the last ten months.
“What ended up happening was during my Kelvin Gastelum fight; round one, I hit a left hook as he was coming in on me and my thumb got kind of like jammed in. It dislocated and during the process I tore a ligament. After the fight, I ended up going to the doctor and I found out that I needed to get surgery, so I got the surgery,” Weidman explained during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
The procedure didn’t produce positive results and Weidman had a second surgery on his left hand two weeks ago. He spent eight months trying to convince himself that the pain he was experiencing was getting better, but eventually came to the realization that something wasn’t right.
Chris Weidman Explains Hand Injury and Relapse
“They took a tendon out of my wrist and used that to create a ligament for my thumb. They told me it was going to be a kind of quick recovery and it ended up being eight months until I realized that – I guess during the trauma of the surgery when they drilled through the bones, it’s like a one in a million chance – the blood supply didn’t come back to the bone.
“The bones were like falling apart. It crushed all the cartilage between the joint, and that was pretty painful for the last eight months when I was trying to train and get through it,” said Weidman.
The second procedure required a bone graft from his hip in an attempt to repair the damage to his left hand. Despite the setback of the first surgery, Weidman’s optimistic that he’s on the path to full recovery.
“At least now I’ve found out that there’s a problem, and they went in there. They had to fuse the joint now, so they took my hip bone and they created a new joint,” said the former UFC champion. “It’s feeling pretty good. They’re telling me six to eight weeks recovery, so it’s way better than eight months.”
Focused on recovery and working on things that he’s physically able to, Weidman expects to return to the octagon later this year. When, where, and against who isn’t something he’s thinking about at the moment.
“This is not a career ending thing,” he said. “Once this thing heals, we’ll start thinking about when we’re fighting and who we’re fighting.”