Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight title contender, Anthony Smith, broke his hand during his fourth-round submission win over Alexander Gustafsson in the UFC Stockholm main event in June 2019.
That sent “Lionheart” into surgery; however, his hand failed to heal properly and Smith went back under the knife. Once again he afforded his mitt ample time to heal and once again the results were problematic, at best, leaving the former middleweight with one last option.
Let’s just say Horace Pinker would be proud.
“Some crazy old lady did this different type of therapy where they attached electricity to my wrist and my forearm and moved it around and was able to catch the muscle that closes the hand and really, she just crushed through the scar tissue,” Smith told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). “So once we tore through all that scar tissue the first time, we just did that every single day until I was able to get the movement back in it and now it’s good.”
Reports that his therapist’s name was “Blanka” remain unconfirmed.
Smith (33-14) was ready to give up at that point and simply have his finger amputated in much the same way Ronnie Lott lopped off his pinkie to keep his NFL career afloat back in 1986. Fortunately, the alternative treatment proved successful and the former middleweight got to keep all his digits.
“I was ready to go but my wife and the UFC wanted to explore other options first,” Smith explained. “So that crazy lady saved my finger for sure. I was ready just to say screw it all, I’m sick of this rehab stuff and scraping the scar tissue out of it and continually opening my hand up to get the scar tissue out. I was just ready to get back to fighting and cutting my finger off, at that time, was the fastest way.”
Smith returns against Glover Teixeira in the UFC Lincoln main event in April.