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

Chris Weidman is back in 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 both rounds and might have been on his way to finishing in the third, but a pair of eye punches put Bruno Silva on the canvas before a flurry of punches ended his night. Referee Gary Copeland waved the fight off at 2:18 in the third round and the bout was initially declared Weidman's winner by technical knockout (TKO).

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

It was a strange set of circumstances, but either way Weidman got the job done to take his first win since suffering a badly broken leg in 2021.

“That felt very good,” Weidman said afterward. “I'm 39, I've had 30 surgeries, I've been through some tough times and I'm here fighting my ass off.

“I just finished beating a guy who beat a lot of good fighters. I'm still getting my legs back under me. I'm still progressing and improving and I'm 39 years old.”

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

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Silva became more aggressive at the start of the second round but was a bit unruly with his punches and Weidman effectively avoided the biggest blows coming at him. While Silva was avoiding takedowns, Weidman was still using his reach to frustrate the Brazilian, who was struggling to find his way inside.

As the two middleweights went into exchanges together, Silva was able to connect with some tough shots that caused swelling and a cut under Weidman's left eye. However, Weidman was not deterred, as he continued to fire and landed some of his best punches on Silva just before the horn sounded.

With five minutes to go, Weidman maintained control and looked good in the game, and Silva was clearly desperate to turn things around. Just as Silva lunged forward, Weidman raised his hands and that's when the Brazilian collapsed to the canvas before eating some ground and pound resulting in the initial stoppage.

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

“You can't fall to the ground like that if your eye gets poked,” Weidman said. “You have to stand up. You can't just fall. So he did that three times and he got it.”

It may not have been the way he wanted to go about winning, but Weidman still looked much better Saturday night than he did in his first return from a broken leg. The win confirms that Weidman will move forward with the hope of putting on a stronger show on his next tour.

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