The South African promotion EFC (Extreme Fighting Championship) recently had an event held in Johannesburg.
During the very first fight, a gruesome leg break happened to South African heavyweight Willem “The Viking” Smith. The break happened during his fight against Ivan Strydom.
Smith threw a “naked” low kick. This is a type of low kick that is easily predictable. Strydom was then able to check the kick with the hard part of his shin (closer to the knee). This made Smith’s shin completely shatter and his foot wrap around his opponent’s leg.
Many mma fans were horrified seeing the leg break. It was reminiscent of the type of gruesome leg breaks that Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva and Conor McGregor went through.
With this type of leg damage the entire leg can be compromised and the road to recovery is lengthy and full of road blocks. Still, recovery isn’t impossible – Silva reportedly went through the rehab and went on to fight professionally 7 more times.
— EFC Worldwide (@EFCworldwide) March 5, 2022
After seeing that video, every MMA fan had flashbacks of Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman going through the same thing.
Way back in UFC 168, Silva was fighting in his rematch against the man who had recently taken his title away from him, Chris Weidman.
During the fight, Silva was viciously attempting heavy leg kicks, as a way to get a reaction out of the American fighter. In the second round, Silva throws a heavily telegraphed inside-low-kick that Weidman is able to check with his knee, completely destroying Silva’s leg in the process.
Anderson Silva did the same thing Chris Weidman did with his leg.
— In My Mind (@MeAloneInMyMind) April 25, 2021
In the years to come, Weidman would find himself in the exact same situation.
At the very beginning of his fight against Urijah Hall, Weidman throws a full force outside-leg-kick that is checked by his opponent. The result is not different from the ones previously seen in this article.
Same guy that broke Anderson Silva’s leg got his leg checked and broken in the same fashion….Brutal pic.twitter.com/n5qk3gpRJD
— Adriano ⭐️?? (@adijontop) April 25, 2021
That type of leg break was once considered a “freak accident”. But once technique evolved – and fighters started “checking” more kicks, it became apparent that this was a crucial strategy to defend against the calf kick.
There are plenty of fighters that have made their name by using this technique – most recently Justin Gaethje and Israel Adesanya have been the most successful with this strategy.