UFC Atlantic City results: Chris Weidman rebounds with controversial win over Bruno Silva

Chris Weidman returned to the win column for the first time in nearly four years, but not without some controversy at UFC Atlantic City.

The former middleweight champion looked great through two rounds and he may have very well been on his way to a finish in the third, but a pair of eye pokes actually put Bruno Silva down on the canvas before a flurry of punches ended his night. Referee Gary Copeland waved off the fight at 2:18 in the third round and the bout was initially declared a TKO win for Weidman.

Replays clearly showed the eye pokes, which led to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board scoring the fight rather than allowing the TKO to stand. Because Weidman was up 20-18 on all the scorecards and winning the third round up until the fouls landed, he was ultimately declared the winner by decision.

It was a bizarre set of circumstances, but either way Weidman got the job done to get his first win since he suffered a brutal broken leg back in 2021.

“That felt so good,” Weidman said afterwards. “I’m 39 years old, I’ve had 30 surgeries, I’ve been through some hard ass times and I’m right here fighting my ass off.

“I just got done beating a guy who beat a lot of good fighters. I’m still getting my legs back underneath me. I’m still progressing and evolving at 39 years old.”

Unlike his first fight back from the broken leg, Weidman came out firing kicks right away and then showed off some power in his hands with Silva inviting a brawl as the middleweights started blasting away at each other momentarily. From there, Weidman decided to look for the takedown with Silva defending as the former champion maintained control on his back.

Silva got more aggressive to start the second round but he was a little too wild with his punches and Weidman effectively avoided the biggest shots coming at him. While Silva was avoiding the takedowns, Weidman was still using his reach to frustrate the Brazilian, who was struggling to find his way inside.

When the middleweights stepped into exchanges together, Silva managed to connect with some stiff shots that caused swelling and a cut under Weidman’s left eye. Weidman was undeterred, however, as he kept firing back and he tagged Silva with some of his best punches just before the horn sounded.

With five minutes remaining, Weidman maintained control and looked good on the feet with Silva clearly getting desperate to turn things around. Just as Silva charged forward, Weidman threw his hands up and that’s when the Brazilian crumbled to the canvas before eating some ground and pound that led to the initial stoppage.

It wasn’t until replays showed the eye pokes that led to Silva falling to the canvas but Weidman actually stated that was his mistake even with the fouls.

“You can’t drop to the ground like that if your eye gets poked,” Weidman said. “You’ve got to stand. You can’t just drop. He did that three times and it caught up to him.”

It may not have been the way he wanted to get a win but Weidman still looked much better on Saturday night than he did in his initial return from the broken leg. The victory assures Weidman will move forward with hopes for an even stronger showing in his next outing.

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