New ESPN E60 Documents UFC Fighter Chris Weidman’s Return to Action Following Horrific Leg Injury


New ESPN E60 Documents UFC Fighter Chris Weidman’s Return to Action Following Horrific Leg Injury

ESPN Granted Unprecedented Access in Weidman’s Inner Circle Through Surgeries, Rehab and Comeback Fight

Chris Weidman: The Return Debuts Sunday, Dec. 17, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, Streaming Afterward on ESPN+

With unprecedented access, a new episode of ESPN E60 documents the amazing comeback of former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman from his gruesome, nearly career-ending leg injury in 2021 to his return to fighting at UFC 292 on August 19, 2023.

Chris Weidman: The Return debuts Sunday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, available immediately after for on-demand streaming on ESPN+. The program airs the day after the UFC 296 PPV (Edwards vs. Covington) on ESPN+.

On the night of April 24, 2021, Weidman stepped into the Octagon in Jacksonville, Fla., for what he hoped was an ascent back to a division title fight. But 17 seconds into the fight, Weidman lay in agony on the mat, his right leg broken in half. As he was taken by ambulance from the Octagon, it seemed an unfit ending for the fighter who had risen from anonymity to defeat MMA legend Anderson Silva twice, earning him worldwide fandom and respect.

And now, after one kick of his right leg, a move he executed thousands of times over his long career, it was over. Or so it seemed.

From the depths of despair, Weidman found fuel for the fire that had always ignited his passion for the fight game. The kid from Baldwin, Long Island, who molded himself into a state wrestling champion and a college All-American, the unknown MMA novice who silenced his doubters by fighting his way to the top, reached deeper than he ever had to pick up the pieces, against almost impossible odds.

In his mind, he was not finished. His career would not – could not – end this way.

E60’s Stephania Bell, physical therapist, and reporter, takes viewers on the ultimate journey back from the brink. Taken inside Weidman’s inner circle, viewers witness the remaking of a UFC legend. It is a road littered with uncertainty, doubt, setbacks, and frustration. But it is also a journey inspired by hope, faith, and determination.

Throughout the one-hour program, Weidman and Bell discuss and describe his career leading up to the fight, the injury in Jacksonville, his surgeries and rehab and his return fight. Weidman’s wife, Marivi, and his father, Charles, are also part of the storytelling.

Among others interviewed in the feature:

Dana White – UFC CEO and President

Dr. Joseph Hsu – Medical Director of Global Healthcare Services, Atrium Health (Chris Weidman’s primary surgeon)

Heather Linden, DPT – UFC Performance Institute

Ray Longo – Chris Weidman’s longtime coach

Daniel Cormier – former UFC Heavyweight Champion

Jon Anik – UFC announcer

Chris Weidman: The Return was directed by Frank Saraceno.

After the initial airing, in addition to being available on ESPN+, the program will re-air multiple times on ESPN networks.


Media contacts: [email protected]

Andy Hall

I’m part of a team that handles PR/Communications for SportsCenter, including the SC Featured brand, the E60 program, and ESPN’s news platforms. In addition, I’m the PR contact for ESPN’s Formula 1 coverage and golf majors (the Masters and PGA Championship). I’m based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and have been with ESPN since 2006.
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