Anyone who has followed combat sports for a long time, has likely seen a few, horrifying leg breaks, but the one Anderson Silva incurred last December was particularly striking.
The reason being, of course, that Silva is widely considered to be the sport’s greatest fighter ever, so when he went down like that versus Chris Weidman at UFC 168, it was something no one will soon forget.
But has the incident remained in the minds of Silva’s colleagues? Will it prompt some to reconsider whether they should fire off leg kicks?
Recently, UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis appeared on “Realer Sports” with Peter Rosenberg, and he was asked whether Silva’s injury “struck fear” into him. The highlight reel striker responded (quote via Mixed Martial Arts.com):
“Not really,” said Pettis. “It was kind of an amateur mistake. I mean, he kicked a check, and that’s like a basic kickboxing move. I mean, he’s probably done that a million times in his life, and that was just the wrong time to do it – the wrong angle, the wrong pressure. But that doesn’t really make me kick differently.”
“I think it looked ugly. It was nasty. But that’s like saying in basketball when somebody twists their ankle, or breaks their ankle, ‘You can’t dunk like that because he did it that way.’
“So it’s not even a factor.”
Pettis makes a good point, as certainly leg breaks have occurred in fights many times, and kicking the legs of an opponent remains a key technique in the sport. Silva has probably misfired leg kicks in the past, but this time around, Weidman had the check waiting.
Of course, the good news is that Silva has recovered and is set to fight Nick Diaz on January 31st at UFC 183.
Pettis, meanwhile, will face Gilbert Melendez this Saturday at UFC 181. That fight will be hosted by the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chances are you’ll see at least a few kicks from the lightweight champion.
The card will also feature welterweight champ Johny Hendricks taking on Robbie Lawler for a second time.