Anthony Smith’s recovery is taking longer than expected.
At UFC 277 in July 2022, Smith came up short against Magomed Ankalaev via second round technical knockout. If the loss, which snapped a three-fight win streak, wasn’t enough, Smith also fell victim to a broken leg in the process. “Lionheart” underwent surgery on the limb shortly after the fight and continued on with his UFC analyst duties, flying to Paris, France, as soon as he could.
Unfortunately, things got worse from there.
“When I got back from Paris, I had a lot of pain in my leg, but not where the injury was,” Smith told MMA Fighting. “So, my wife is a nurse and she’s like, ‘you’ve got a blood clot’ and I’m like, ‘No, you’re God damn crazy. Not a chance — I’m young, I’m healthy, I’m active. No way.’ But, apparently, that has nothing to do with it. So, they go in and they find it and they’re like you’re good to go home. I remember thinking that was weird the way they said that like, ‘you’re good to go home.’ As if some reason, I wouldn’t have been.
“So, I go home and I jump in my vehicle and it’s already hooked up to my trailer and I just dip,” he continued. “I went to Wyoming. Went and rode my Razors up in the mountains and probably a quarter of the way there the doctor calls me, ‘we need to get you back in the hospital, we’re going to do this, this and this.’ I’m like I’m not even close, what are you talking about? They’re like, ‘Where are you?’ I tell them I’m on my way to Wyoming and they flipped out. They only let me leave because they thought I was going home, not leaving the state.”
At this current moment in time, Smith, 34, is on standby, taking doctors' orders to keep him from any physical activity. Only recently was he allowed to stop taking two stomach injections on a daily basis after being put on oral blood thinners.
Smith was ideally hoping to return in January, but his primary focus is going to have to be on getting back to 100 percent before that can even be a thought.
“It’s a pretty big deal and I didn’t really know that,” Smith said. “You don’t really think about those kinds of issues when you’re my age, when you’re healthy and active.
“It’s like I’m just getting f—ked around every corner,” he added. “I try to look at it as positively as possible. Maybe it’s just my turn. I’ve been super fortunate. I’ve grinded really hard and put a lot of work in and was super active for a lot of years. Maybe it’s just my turn to struggle a little bit.”