UFC 292 results: Brad Tavares targets legs, spoils Chris Weidman’s return from injury by decision

Chris Weidman returned to action for the first time since April 2021, but Brad Tavares played the role of spoiler in the former UFC middleweight champion’s return from a nasty leg injury.

The middleweight bout closed out the UFC 292 preliminary card at TD Garden in Boston, and the crowd was anxious for a feel-good moment for Weidman (15-7 MMA, 11-7 UFC). However, Tavares (20-9 MMA, 15-8 UFC) was hungry for a win as well, an ultimately got what he wanted after 15 minutes, earning unanimous 30-27 scores from the official judges.

As the fighters studied the distance in the opening seconds, the Boston crowd began chanting, “Let’s go Weidman.” An early takedown attempt from the former champion was stuffed, and Tavares landed a clean combination a moment later. Weidman continued to hunt for the takedown, but it wasn’t there for him. After a hard low blow from Tavares paused the fight momentarily, the remainder of the round was spent on the feet, where Tavares landed cleaner punches and leg kicks.

Tavares’ striking early in the second caused Weidman to limp severely on his damaged legs. For a moment, it appeared the fight may have been close to a stoppage, but Weidman was able to gather himself and return fire.

Weidman caught Tavares with a hard punch that buckled him momentarily. It seemed a fire was lit under Weidman, as he began marching forward, but his momentum was halted when he landed a low blow.

When the action resumed, Weidman continued to press the action, looking for takedowns and head kicks that Tavares was able to defend.

Unfortunately, a low blow from Tavares landed again in the first minute of the third round as both fighters threw kicks at the same time. After a short pause, Tavares began attacking the legs of Weidman with hard kicks, causing him to limp for a moment. Tavares charged forward with punches, but Weidman was able to regain composure and start moving forward himself. The former champ kept a good poker face for the remainder of the fight, as Tavares targeted the leg and got the better of the final exchanges.

Tavares returns to the win column, snapping a two-fight skid. Prior to his setbacks against Dricus Du Plessis and Bruno Silva, Tavares picked up a pair of decision wins over Antonio Carlos Junior and Omari Akhmedov.

The result of the fight marks two consecutive losses for Weidman. He broke his leg in the first round against Uriah Hall at UFC 261, prompting a lengthy recovery and multiple surgeries. The former champ’s last win was a unanimous decision nod over Omari Akhmedov in August 2020.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 292 results include:

  • Brad Tavares def. Chris Weidman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Gregory Rodrigues def. Denis Tiuliulin via knockout (elbows) – Round 1, 1:43

  • Kurt Holobaugh def. Austin Hubbard via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:39 – to win “TUF 31” lightweight season

  • Brad Katona def. Cody Gibson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) – to win “TUF 31” bantamweight season

  • Andre Petroski def. Gerald Meerschaert via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Natalia Silva def. Andrea Lee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Karine Silva def. Maryna Moroz via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:59

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 292.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie