Chris Weidman still plans to fight once he is healthy.
Weidman made headlines last month at UFC 261 after he suffered a gruesome leg break just 17 seconds into his middleweight encounter with Uriah Hall.
He has since undergone surgery and is currently on the road to recovery, but things have been far from easy for the former 185-pound champion.
“Initially, I was super optimistic, because after surgery I just figured it was going to be three, maybe four days’ worth of pain and then I’d be kind of back into it,” Weidman told ESPN. “I’ve had 23 surgeries, so it’s not like it’s my first rodeo going through a surgery. But I didn’t realize how different this was. When compared to every other surgery, this was a serious, traumatic thing that happened in my leg.
“Recovery’s going to be way longer and harder than I’ve ever experienced. I went through a tough time about the four- or five-day mark postsurgery, because it started going the other way. It started becoming more painful, as opposed to getting better. And it was just so excruciating, to just get up for me to crutch my way to the bathroom. I would talk myself into it. I had to amp myself up and mentally prepare myself just to get to the bathroom.”
When the injury happened, most observers assumed this was the end of Weidman’s career.
After all, he’d be out for at least a year while he is also 36 years of age and won just two of his last eight outings since losing the middleweight title back in 2015.
However, Weidman — who began physical therapy on Tuesday — is still hopeful he will fight. Provided he gets his body back to the condition it was in before the Hall fight.
“I was in a very good spot physically, mentally, spiritually. Had some big goals I was ready to accomplish, and I cannot believe this happened to me. … It’s just so frustrating,” Weidman added. “I don’t know how much work it’s going to take, but yeah, this is what I want. I just know how good I am. And I want to be able to prove it. And I don’t have many more years left of being able to do that. My body never felt so good before this fight. I really was excited to show the world how good I am able to put it out there.
“If I can get my body back to where I feel like I’m that guy again, I 100% want to fight. I want to be able to demonstrate the talents I have, put on a show and then also be able to inspire people by coming back from this. It is not going to be easy. It’s way, way tougher of a recovery already in the first 10 days.”