At last weekend’s UFC 277 former UFC title challenger Anthony Smith saw his three fight winning streak snapped by surging contender Magomed Ankalaev. Smith lost by second round TKO.
During the fight Smith suffered a broken ankle, probably from one of the many hard leg kicks Ankalaev through during the fight. After the contest was called off, Smith required the help of his corner to leave the cage and return backstage.
Since then we have learned that Smith will require surgery as a result of the injury.
Despite Smith suffering a broken bone, UFC President Dana White downplayed the seriousness of the injury during the post fight press conference.
At last night’s Contender Series presser, White admitted it was wrong to claim that there was no fracture or to suggest that Smith wasn’t correct when assessing his own condition.
“Anthony Smith, we’re doing the press conference on Saturday and somebody asked me how he was doing and (I said there wasn’t a fracture),” White said (ht MMA Junkie). “He broke his leg. His leg was broken. They ended up finding the fracture and I guess it was in a weird place. Hard to find. He was sitting there questioning himself like, ‘What the hell is wrong with me? I feel like my leg is broken. I know my body.’ And all this stuff. I just wanted to tell you guys that because sometimes it makes it look like, ‘Oh, he’s trying to get out of the fight. He’s claiming he broke his leg.’
“The way I looked at it he got kicked so fucking hard he thought his leg was broken, you know what I mean? Which you can imagine, too. But he legitimately has a bad break in his leg that is going to need surgery. For him, I wanted to put that out there because I was the one that said it wasn’t broken.”
Smith challenged Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title in 2019. He lost that bout by unanimous decision.
‘Lionheart’ rebounded from that disappointment with a submission win over former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson. Smith then lost to future champion Glover Teixeira (by TKO) and Aleksandar Rakic (by decision).
After those losses he pulled off his most recent three fight winning streak, with stoppages over Devin Clark, Jimmy Crute and Ryan Spann.