Anthony Smith got the win he sought over Alexander Gustafsson in the UFC Stockholm main event, but it came at a cost. The American light heavyweight contender sustained a nasty hand injury in the bout, and it looks like it’s going to take some time to heal.
Smith shared an x-ray of this injury — a bad break — 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
As Helwani suggests, Anthony Smith suspects he injured in his hand in the second round of the fight — long before his fourth-round submission victory.
Needless to say, there is a reason his nickname is “Lionheart.”
Smith is expected to go under the knife on Wednesday. Once his hand repaired, it’s more than likely he’ll have to spend some time on the sidelines recovering.
The good news is that Anthony Smith had already planned on taking some time off. After defeating Gustafsson, he stated that he was going to take a break from competition, hopefully allowing the light heavyweight contender situation to clear up in the meantime.
“I can just sit at the top and let those guys fight it out,” the American told the media after UFC Stockholm. “I’m going to hang out up here for a while and we’ll see what it looks like later on.”
With his victory over Gustafsson, Anthony Smith rebounded from a failed title shot opposite reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Despite his recent loss to the champ, and his current injury, he says he’s still determined to earn himself a rematch in the near future.
“I’ll tell you the same thing I’ve told Jon – I’ll see you again,” Smith said. “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.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/4/2019.