The extent of Anthony Smith’s hand injury is so severe that the top light heavyweight contender will require surgery to fix it.
Smith, who submitted three-time light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson in the UFC Fight Night 153 main event, broke his hand early in the fight and will undergo surgery on Wednesday.
Prior to the bout, Smith said he want some time off and, speaking to MMA Fighting’s Damon Martinin a recent interview, ‘Lionheart’ said he expects to be on the sidelines for the next six months, which could mean we won’t see the 30-year-old back in the Octagon until the new year.
“I think I jinxed myself. That’s what I get and that’s what my fiancée said ‘well I guess you asked for a break, it’s what you get I suppose’,” Smith said. “So I had the doctor’s appointment today, I have surgery on Wednesday morning and they said probably four months before I can fully start a training camp. That’s the best guess they have right now.
“So we’re looking at probably six months best case because by then I’ll have to get back into shape and get a camp going. So best case, probably six months.”
Smith went on to recall the exact moment he injured his hand, saying he could actually hear the bone crack after he landed a punch on Gustafsson’s head in the second round.
“Paul Felder actually said something about it on the broadcast. I landed a nasty, nasty left hook and Alex ducked his head and he took it right on top of his forehead. That’s where you want to take it if you’re going to take one,” Smith said.
“If you get a chance, go back to that moment and listen to it. You can hear the bone break. It’s loud. It’s really loud. You can hear it. That’s when Felder said ‘I hope Anthony didn’t hurt his hand’ and unfortunately that’s when it happened. I knew right away that it was broken.”
Following his win over Gustafsson, Smith said he is ‘chasing’ a rematch with Jon Jones. The Colorado-based fighter dropped a unanimous decision to ‘Bones’ earlier this year in the UFC 235 main event at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
“I’ll tell you the same thing I’ve told Jon – I’ll see you again,” Smith said during a post-fight scrum (transcript by MMA Junkie). “And that’s what I’m working toward. I’m working toward the fight with Jon. I want to get back to the title shot, and that’s the goal.
“So whatever that looks like when I come back, I’ll figure out this hand injury and go from there. I wouldn’t still be here if I wasn’t chasing Jon Jones.”