Former UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman had his last fight at UFC on Fox 25 nearly an year ago. Weidman defeated rising middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum by submission but has not fought since due to various injury issues. Weidman revealed that he tore the ligament of his thumb in the first round of the Kelvin Gastelum fight and while it seemed like a straightforward injury, its recovery was incredibly slow and frustating due to what he calls a ‘one in a million injury’.
“After the fight, I ended up going to the doctor and I found that I needed to get surgery, so I got the surgery,” Weidman told host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “They took a tendon out of my wrist and used that to create a new ligament from my thumb. And they told me it was going to be kind of a quick recovery. It ended up being eight months until I realized that, I guess, during the trauma of the surgery, the bones — when they drilled through the bones, it’s a very one-in-a-million chance, the blood supply didn’t come back to the bones, so the bones were like falling apart.
“They crushed all the cartilage between the joint, and it was pretty painful for the last eight months as I was trying to train and get through it.”
Weidman also talked about the surgery after his diagnosis.
“They took my hip bone and they created a new joint, and it’s feeling pretty good. They’re telling me six-to-eight weeks of recovery, so it’s way better than eight months.When I take this [cast] off, I kinda move my thumb around a little bit, it just feels so much better,” Weidman added. “I was in so much pain for eight months. Every morning I would wake up and try to be hopeful and tell myself it’s feeling better, and then it just wasn’t feeling better. So I’m just happy that there’s a reason for why I was going through all of that pain. There’s no more confusion and I know exactly what’s going on, and I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now and it’s not too far away, so we’re good.”
Weidman expects to return and fight before the end of this year.”The fact that I was out as long as I was is insane, and the chance of that ever happening is extremely, extremely small, like I said,” Weidman explained. “The surgeons I went to, even for second opinions, they said they’d never seen it before as a doctor, so I got unlucky. And it’s feeling great. I’m very positive and I’ll be back and better than ever.”