Brad Tavares ends Chris Weidman’s storybook comeback with dominant decision victory

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 19: (L-R) Brad Tavares kicks Chris Weidman in a middleweight fight during the UFC 292 event at TD Garden on August 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Chris Weidman returned Saturday against Brad Tavares at UFC 292 in Boston, after more than two years out because of a gruesome broken leg. Weidman lost 30-27 on all three judges’ scorecards. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Chris Weidman managed to make it to the finish line Saturday against Brad Tavares in their bout at UFC 292 in Boston, Massachusetts. Considering the gruesome broken right leg he suffered in 2021 against Uriah Hall, that is an achievement in and of itself.

But Tavares had a brilliant game plan and comprehensively beat Weidman from start to finish. All three judges had it 30-27 for Tavares, who had incentive of his own to fight hard. While most of the pre-fight attention focused on Weidman, Tavares was motivated to fight for his home state. Tavares is Hawaiian and was intent on putting on a show to lift the spirits of those in his home state suffering after the fires in Maui.

Weidman, the former UFC middleweight champion, came to the cage to a thunderous ovation. And throughout the bout, the fans at TD Garden chanted, “Let’s go Weidman!” in an attempt to motivate him to a storybook victory.

It wasn’t to be, though. Weidman was 0-for-8 on takedowns and was left limping badly from Tavares’ kicks. Tavares kicked Weidman’s lead leg so hard and so often that Weidman was unable to fully put his weight on it. By the middle point of the fight, Weidman had to fight out of a southpaw stance, where the injured right leg was in front.

Weidman was able to check most of the kicks that were aimed at his right leg, but Tavares beat up his left so badly that Weidman had little chance. Tavares was an astounding 41-of-45 significant strikes on the leg, while Weidman landed two of his three kicks.

Weidman landed a few right hands that excited the crowd, but he wasn’t able to follow up.

He’s now left with a big decision. The loss was his seventh in his last nine fights and he’s a long way away from being in contention.

The comeback was a stirring story and showed incredible will and heart, but now he must decide upon his future.