The MMA world collectively inhaled when Anderson Silva went crashing to the canvas at UFC 237, clutching his leg as he writhed in pain. Luckily, the injury wasn't as serious as many first worried, especially considering Silva's history of having had both bones in his lower left leg broken in a fight.
Jared Cannonier fought Silva to perfection in the UFC 237 main event on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, continuously attacking the legendary southpaw's lead leg throughout the first round. With the clock winding down on round one, Cannonier unleashed a brutal kick just above Silva's right knee that send "The Spider" to the floor, grasping at his leg as the referee quickly stepped in and waved off the fight.
The scene sparked flashbacks to Silva's grotesque injury suffered against Chris Weidman at UFC 168 in December of 2013. In that bout, Silva launched a kick with his left leg that Weidman checked. As he did so, Silva's tibia and fibia snapped and wrapped around Weidman's shin.
Silva was immediately rushed to surgery and made a miraculous recovery to continue his career, though he's not been the dominant fighter he once was.
In the fight with Cannonier, it was quickly clear that the injury was not of the same nature as that fateful night in 2013. Silva was cleared of a fracture after the fight, but it took an MRI to show that he had not suffered any severe ligament damage either, according to a report by MMAFighting on Tuesday.
Anderson Silva's statement following UFC 237 injury and loss
Even before the MRI that cleared him of any serious injury, Silva seemed to indicate that he would likely return to the Octagon, despite having recently attained the age of 44 and having lost six of his last eight bouts.
”Until the limit, pain is your friend. It shows you’re not dead yet,” Silva wrote in Portuguese on his Instagram account, as translated by MMAFighting. “They say that great symbols become great targets. Maybe. But the most important thing is not to victimize yourself. If you fall, get up. If it’s broken, fix it. No giving up or thinking that you can’t because you lost one battle.
”The saying is, I’m going until the end and the more they pressure me, the more I’ll want to to go until the end. There’s nothing more wild than feeling sorry for yourself. An old lion, surrounded by hungry hyenas, crazy to eat him, and he stills fights until death without ever giving up or feeling sorry for himself. And it won’t be different with me. Strength and honor.”