Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith is unlikely to make another appearance inside the Octagon this year after undergoing two hand surgeries in a matter of weeks.
The 30-year-old had surgery in June to repair his hand after his impressive submission victory over Alexander Gustafsson, but it didn’t heal properly and he had no choice but to go back under the knife to correct it (via MMAFighting.com):
“[The first surgery] went well initially but a week and a half ago I had another [surgery]. The first one wasn’t successful so we had to do another one about 10 days ago. I’m back on the horse starting over again and trying to stay positive,” Smith said.
“The bone, the first metacarpal was completely snapped and displaced. Part of the bone had started peeling back because I kept throwing it during the fight. So they went in and put a plate on it, fixed a lot of the scar tissue and stuff like that. They fixed all that. I don’t know exactly what happened but the bone displaced again and that broke the plate so they had to go in and replace the plate, put in a new one. Take bone graft from my leg so I got two holes drilled in my leg. So it’s been a mess. I was out about four months from the beginning so we kind of restarted that four months a week and a half ago.”
Smith says that it’ll be at least four months before he is able to punch again which makes a return in 2019 unlikely. “Lionheart” said in the meantime he’ll be ensuring his hand heals properly before waiting for the green light from the doctors to continue training.
“We’re looking at January, February, we’ll get the machine fired back up again,” Smith concluded.