As long as his recovery goes well, Chris Weidman plans to step back into the Octagon.
The former middleweight champion suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in UFC history last month, snapping his leg on a kick in the opening seconds of his bout against Uriah Hall.
He underwent surgery the next day in Jacksonville, Florida, and now he's at home in South Carolina for the early days of what will be a lengthy recovery.
"I just want an opportunity to go out there and do what I know I'm capable of while I still can," Weidman told ESPN's Ariel Helwani earlier this week. "If I can get my body back to where I feel like I'm that guy again, I 100% want to fight. I want to be able to demonstrate the talents I have and put on a show and also be able to inspire other people."
Weidman said he thought he was in the best shape of his career heading into the Hall fight, which is significant considering he used to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. He held the middleweight belt from 2013 to 2015 and earned victories against the likes of Anderson Silva (twice), Vitor Belfort, and Lyoto Machida.
Unable to walk for the next two months, the former champ remains frustrated about the injury and recognizes how much effort it will take to bounce back from it.
"Coming back from this is not going to be easy," Weidman said. "It's way tougher of a recovery already in the first 10 days than I could ever have imagined. It's going to be a long, long road."
Nonetheless, he's committed to a return as long as the injury doesn't diminish his abilities in the cage.
"I just know how good I am and I want to be able to prove it," Weidman said. "I don't have many more years left of being able to do that."