It is no surprise that fighting is a gruesome sport. It is taxing on the fighters who leave everything in the cage or ring. Injuries are bound to happen, and sometimes they can change a fighter's career or life.
Anderson Silva is a famous example of a fighter who was never the same after a terrible leg snap. After coming back from the injury, he won only one fight out of his next seven fights. He technically had a win over Nick Diaz, but that was later ruled a no contest due to a failed drug test.
2021 has been an interesting year for the UFC. After several big PPV cards, I can say I have witnessed an adequate amount of jaw-clinching injuries for the year. Here are four of my most memorable injuries this year.
Tony Ferguson's Knee Pop Against Beneil Dariush
Whenever Tony Ferguson is fighting, I expect two things: elbows and no tapping. Ferguson's fight with Beneil Dariush may not have displayed much of his elbow arsenal, but he did not tap to that leg lock.
Many fighters have transitioned into leg locks during a scramble, but rarely do they submit them with it. Either the fighter did not have a good grip on the leg or they did not know what to do. However, Dariush knew exactly what he was doing and he held the leg tight. Before Dariush cranked the leg in the second round, I was already worried because I knew that Ferguson would never tap to any submission. Dariush cranked the leg as much as he could and Ferguson's face showed visible signs of pain.
At the heat of the moment, it looked pretty bad, but it was later revealed on Ferguson's Twitter that it was only a "slight sprain." That does not take away Ferguson's grit. He still fought to a decision, which meant he went through another whole round with practically one leg.
Jamahal Hill's Dangling Arm Against Paul Craig
Paul Craig's submission on Jamahal Hill was a nasty arm triangle, but kudos to Hill for being such a soldier about the whole situation. I was quite confused while watching the end of this fight because there was more than one situation going on.
At first, I was amazed by Paul Craig's arm triangle, but not surprised. Craig is a high level grappler, and when I saw the tight triangle he got on Hill, all I was waiting for was the tap. Well, the tap did not come because Hill was doing everything he could to get out of the triangle. So now I am amazed by not only the submission, but Hill's unstoppable will.
Seeing how Hill did not tap, Craig proceeded to rain punches and elbows on Hill's face while he was stuck in the triangle. Hill was also retaliating with some shots of his own, but he had no leverage on them. While this was all happening, I heard a snap that was audible even through the noise of fans. I then noticed Hill's arm dangling like a Christmas ornament.
So I was now wondering many potential scenarios. Will Hill tap from the triangle submission? Will he get TKO'd? What is wrong with that broken arm? Thank goodness the referee jumped in before it got uglier than it needed to be. Respect to Jamahal Hill for keeping a straight face the whole time.
Conor McGregor's Leg Snap Against Dustin Poirer
If you are an MMA fan, chances are you have heard about Conor McGregor breaking his leg during his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirer. This fight was supposed to conclude who was the better fighter after both of them gained a victory over each other. However, the conclusion of the fight left me wondering how the fight would have actually ended.
McGregor broke his leg toward the end of the first round right after both fighters traded left hands. McGregor landed on his broken leg and proceeded to fall to the ground. Because it happened so fast, I doubt anyone, including Poirer, would have known that the leg was broken. It looked more like McGregor getting dropped by a good shot. Poirer proceeded to ground and pound McGregor while McGregor attempted to survive the remaining few seconds of the round.
The cause of the leg break is still a mystery as there was no visible cause in the fight, but there has been a bunch of theories. Poirer claimed that he felt something break in McGregor's leg when he checked it, but McGregor also said there was no check. Either way, this is the worst way to end a fight. However, McGregor will use this as an excuse to get a possible rematch.
Chris Weidman's Shin Snap Against Uriah Hall
This is the craziest injury I have ever witnessed in the UFC, mainly because of the irony attached to it. As I mentioned before, Anderson Silva snapped his shin in a title fight in 2013 and was never the same fighter after that. The fighter the Silva broke his leg off of was Chris Weidman.
Almost eight years later, Weidman accepted a rematch with Uriah Hall and the same exact accident happened to Weidman. Almost 15 seconds into the fight, Weidman throws a heavy leg kick at Hall. Unfortunately, he landed on the top of the shin, causing his leg to snap in half.
When I witnessed this live, I could not believe a single second of it. The odds that this would happen to Weidman was flabbergasting. I did not want to use my legs after seeing that.