Anthony Smith proved the doubters wrong on Saturday in Stockholm, Sweden, defeating Alexander Gustafsson in the fourth round via submission to cement his place at the top of the light heavyweight division. The win didn’t come easy, though. Smith threw a punch early in the fight that broke his hand, but “Lionheart” lived up to his name and pushed through the pain to earn a victory.
At the very least, now Smith will have an ironclad reason to take some much needed time off. He’s fought six times since the start of 2018, but he certainly isn’t coming back any time soon based on the x-rays he just shared with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
This is an X-Ray of Anthony Smith’s broken left hand. Just took it and sent it to me. His surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. He believes he broke it in the second round. pic.twitter.com/F63Qa7qoFV— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 3, 2019
”It’s not good, it’s swollen like a softball,” Smith said on Helwani’s MMA Show. “It’s pretty bad, it’s probably the worst broken hand I’ve ever had ... This’ll be like my sixth or seventh, I think two on this hand before but not in the same place. And I’ve had several surgeries on my right hand.”
”I think i said initially it happened in the first round, but it actually happened in the second,” he added. “It was a big overhand left, it must have hit him right on the top of the forehead ... I knew right away, as soon as I landed the punch I felt the pop and I went to open and close my hand and I could feel the clicking and the bones moving around in the hand.”
Here’s hoping Smith has a nice vacation lined up following his surgery on Wednesday. At 4-2 since 2018 and with four performance bonuses, he definitely deserves more than a little rest and relaxation before coming back and finally dealing with big mouth Luke Rockhold.