Silva (33-6) fractured the tibia and fibula bones in his left leg when his opponent, Chris Weidman, checked Silva's kick in the second round. He was rushed to immediate surgery, where a metal rod was inserted into his tibia bone.
That rod, 11.5 millimeters in diameter, will likely remain in Silva’s body the rest of his life. That prompted many fans to question whether or not the Brazilian might enjoy an unfair advantage -- basically, a metal weapon attached to his lower body.
According to Dr. Timothy Trainor, consulting physician to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, there is no such concern. If Silva was to seek a license to fight in Las Vegas, where he has fought four of his last six fights, the rod would not be an issue.
“To my knowledge, there are absolutely no scientific studies that have ever been done to prove someone gains an unfair advantage in any kind of sport after they have a metal rod inserted to a bone,” Trainor told ESPN.com.
“Can I tell you he can kick harder with that rod? Absolutely not. Do I think he can? No, I do not. The rod is in the middle of the hollow bone. It’s not going to change the force he kicks with. That’s still based on muscles.”
Trainor, an orthopedic surgeon, said the only “benefit” Silva might have is it would be very difficult for him to suffer the same injury with the rod in place.