5 of the worst leg injuries in UFC history (VIDEO)

Leg injuries can be one of the hardest things to recover from in MMA. Here are 5 of the worst that took place in the UFC.

Jul 10, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor holds his leg after suffering an injury against
Jul 10, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor holds his leg after suffering an injury against / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Anderson Silva - UFC 168 (Dec. 28, 2013)

Anderson Silva’s injury is perhaps the most talked-about leg break in MMA, not only because of its magnitude but also for what it meant for the former middleweight champion’s legacy

Silva almost retired unbeaten in the UFC with the record of the longest title reign ever in the promotion’s history which is yet to be beaten in 2023 - and with his leg intact. 

But he didn’t. Instead, he competed against Chris Weidman at UFC 162. Despite going into the fight as a heavy favorite, he lost it via a second-round knockout after showboating, ending his epic winning streak and losing the middleweight title. 

To avenge the loss and reclaim the belt, the Brazilian competed in a rematch with Weidman at UFC 168. After possibly cracking his shin bone against Weidman in the first round, he completely snapped his left tibia and fibula in a leg kick check by Weidman. The fight ended abruptly and in an anti-climactic fashion in a TKO win and a successful title defense for Weidman. 

Silva was tended to inside the octagon. Immediately after the fight, Silva underwent orthopedic surgery at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas to stabilize his tibia with a titanium rod. 

Dr. Steven Sanders, who performed the surgery, spoke to Bleacher Report on the severity of the injury.

"In terms of the injury, it was fairly severe. It could have been worse. He could have torn the skin and had bone exposed to the environment right there in the Octagon, which would dramatically increase his risk of infection. He could have potentially torn a blood vessel, which would have challenged the blood supply to the foot."

Dr. Steven Sanders

All things considered, Dr. Sanders gave Silva six to nine months before he could restart training. 

He eventually returned more than a year later against Nick Diaz. His win in the bout was overturned to a No Contest after he tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone. Diaz also tested positive for marijuana. 

Silva managed only one win after that - over Derek Brunson - before retiring from the sport. It is widely believed that the leg break was the beginning of the end of a long and decorated career