Surgery success, fighting future unknown
Doctors have declared success in the emergency surgery on Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Anderson Silva's broken left leg.
While Silva's recovery period was set at three to six months, the possibility of the former longtime middleweight champion not fighting again lingers.
UFC President Dana White said it's premature to guess whether Silva, 38, has the physical capability or desire to return to fighting. Silva's manager, Ed Soares, said the fighter was "good," resting in a Las Vegas hospital today.
In a statement from the UFC's parent company, it was said: "There has been no immediate decision about his future."
Silva was screaming in agony Saturday (NZT Sunday) after kicking Chris Weidman's left shin, his lower leg crumbling upon the gruesome impact. He had a rod inserted into his left tibia and the broken fibula was stabilised in surgery.
"This would be a tough thing to overcome at his age," White said.
"Anderson Silva's been amazing, one of the greatest of all time. It's a (bad) way to see him go out, but it's part of the game.
"He's an incredible human being. Maybe he'll want to make a comeback. I don't want to count him out, don't want to count him in."
Silva's reign as middleweight champion went from October 2006 until July 6, when Weidman (10-0) knocked him out in the second round.
Weidman said the move that could send Silva to retirement is called "destruction," a kick-blocking leg move he learned in training.
"It stops guys from kicking," Weidman said.
"I've never done that before, and I'd never want Anderson Silva to get hurt like that. If I don't put the knee on the shin, he's going to hurt me. That's how you check the kick."
It also could alter the UFC landscape in the same month when longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre announced he was vacating his belt to the winner of the Johny Hendricks-Robbie Lawler fight on March 15 to deal with personal issues.
White expressed confidence his company - with Weidman, Hendricks and light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones peaking - can survive the star-power hit like it did in 2006 when St-Pierre and Silva started taking over for popular light-heavyweights Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.
Weidman will next fight ancient UFC warrior Vitor Belfort, who won UFC 12 in 1997.
Another UFC draw is Ronda Rousey, the women's bantamweight champion from Los Angeles, who defended her belt Saturday with a third-round armbar of Miesha Tate.
Rousey (8-0) was sent right back into action, scheduled for a February 22 title defence at MGM Grand against 2004 US Olympic silver-medalist wrestler Sara McMann (7-0).
"I'm in the best shape of my life now, so it's the perfect time to go back, and we'll put on another good show for you guys very soon," Rousey said.
The crowd viciously booed Rousey for not accepting an extended post-fight handshake from Tate. Rousey said she remains upset at Tate for disrespecting two members of her team on "The Ultimate Fighter" reality television series.
"When she formally apologises to my coaches and they accept it, I'll shake her hand," Rousey said.
"She's a great fighter, she had my respect, but she needs to make up for the things she's done."