Silva injures leg; Cannonier booed after TKO win

Cannonier: If fans don't like me, I have no reason to like them (1:05)

Jared Cannonier reacts to being booed by the fans after defeating Anderson Silva at UFC 237. (1:05)

Jared Cannonier stood in the center of the Octagon, a microphone in his face, silent.

The crowd, meanwhile, was anything but.

Fans in attendance at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro showered Cannonier with loud boos for nearly a minute after his TKO of legend Anderson Silva at 4 minutes, 47 seconds of the first round Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 237.

Seconds earlier, Cannonier landed a big kick to the inside of Silva's right leg. Upon impact, Silva crumbled to the mat and grabbed his knee in pain. Referee Herb Dean waved off the bout, ruling Cannonier the winner.

It was the first time Silva, an icon in his native country, had fought in Brazil since 2012. The fans could not accept the ending to the bout, as legitimate as it was.

Cannonier thanked Silva for the opportunity but had some choice words for the spectators.

"The crowd is a different story," Cannonier said. "They don't respect me, I ain't got no respect for them. And that's just it."

A member of Silva's team told ESPN early Sunday morning that the extent of his injury isn't yet known but that he doesn't have a fracture. The team member said the fear is that Silva has a ligament injury.

Silva said afterward that he came into the fight with an existing knee injury he had not mentioned.

"I'm sorry, guys," Silva said. "In training, my knee was already a little bad. I took a kick to it, and it just didn't hold up. I'm sorry."

Cannonier landed several kicks to Silva's leg before the finishing blow, and the area around Silva's knee was already bruised. It was the most effective bit of offense from either man in a fight that hadn't yet hit a second gear.

Cannonier (12-4) has now won two straight and put his name on the list of contenders at middleweight after fighting at both heavyweight and light heavyweight in UFC. The Dallas native, who trains out of The MMA Lab in Arizona, won his middleweight debut against David Branch at UFC 230 in November. Cannonier, 35, has won by finish in 10 of his 12 victories.

Silva (34-10, 1 NC) is no stranger to leg injuries in fights. He famously shattered his left leg -- a compound fracture -- in a middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 168 in 2013.

"The Spider," now 44, has lost two in a row and has one victory since 2012. Silva is considered one of the greatest UFC champions of all time, but he is on the back nine of his career. The California resident still holds the UFC record for consecutive wins (16). This was Silva's 23rd UFC main or co-main event, which set the modern record.