First, there was the sound.
If I am somehow lucky enough to live to a ripe and forgetful old age—and even if that old age is filled with joy and laughter—I do not imagine a time will come when I forget the sound that forced the conclusion of UFC 168. It was nothing and yet it was everything, at once confusing and horrifying and shocking and depressing.
I have lived some days, and I have seen some things. As a combat medic deployed to Iraq in 2003, I saw plenty of the stuff I'd like to forget. I guess I'll spend the rest of my days trying to forget them, just like I know I'll spend the rest of my days (and especially the next two days) trying to forget the sound that likely ended the career of the greatest pound for pound fighter of my generation.
If you have never heard a leg broken in person—and this is not something I recommend you seek out, for it is not one of life's great pleasures—then you may count yourself as one of the lucky ones. It is the visuals that often stick with us.
And make no mistake about it; when the realization of what happened hit me, and when I saw the first of what would be many gruesome slow motion replays, I looked down at the table sitting in front of me and the computer resting there. I packed my things, never again looking up to see the awful thing that elicited oohs and aahs and perhaps a few upset stomachs among the fans in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.