Anthony Smith appeared to suffer an unfortunate leg break at the UFC 277 event against Magomed Ankalaev. Smith was hoping that with a victory over Ankalaev he could get back in the title picture. But he wasn’t so fortunate.
When asked if there was an update on Anthony Smith, White asked the staff present there and confirmed there was no fracture.
This was quite a red flag for UFC fans who hurried to think Anthony Smith was faking an injury.
Anthony Smith walked past press row and said he broke his leg throwing his last kick of the first round during the bout. Despite that he came off the stool in round 2 and kept on going.
Ankalaev checking and blocking Anthony Smith's kicks pic.twitter.com/IUn5SVQ9bC
— Miguel Class (@MigClass) August 1, 2022
During the second round, Smith attempted a takedown on Ankalaev who was backed to the fence. However, he was unable to complete the level change and Ankalaev take the opportunity to regain the initiative.
After getting the top position, the Makhachkala native bombarded Smith with several unanswered punches that prompted the referee to stop the bout. The victory marked Ankalaev’s first finish in almost two years.
And now, several days after the bout, Smith has informed MMA journalist Ariel Helwani that he broke his ankle and is scheduled to undergo surgery.
“Anthony Smith suffered a broken left ankle Saturday night in his fight against Magomed Ankalaev, Smith tells me this evening. It will require surgery,” Helwani said.
Anthony Smith suffered a broken left ankle Saturday night in his fight against Magomed Ankalaev, Smith tells me this evening. It will require surgery.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 2, 2022
While the bout was competitive prior to the injury, Ankalaev has said that he wants people to consider a victory for himself and not just a medical stoppage.
“I think I should already deserve respect. They should respect me,” Ankalaev said after UFC 277.
“Jiri Prochazka got the title shot after two wins, and after nine I got nothing.”
However, since the champion Jiri Prochazka has stated that he will rematch Glover Teixeira next, the only available opponent for Ankalaev is probably the former champion Jan Blachowicz.
Oddly enough Blachowicz is coming off of a medical stoppage against Aleksandar Rakic after Rakic’s knee buckled during their main event.
Now Dana White has corrected himself regarding Anthony Smith comments after the event. White told media:
“Anthony Smith, we’re doing the press conference on Saturday and somebody asked me how I was doing and (I said there wasn’t a fracture),” White told reporters.
“He did break 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.’
Doctors tended to Anthony Smith in the Octagon after suffering a leg injury at #UFC277 pic.twitter.com/3rH0hYgskt
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 31, 2022
“The way I looked at it he got kicked so f*cking 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.”
Luthfi Prawiro is a writer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has a strong passion for combat sports and a BA in Psychology. His undergraduate thesis was on the Sports Psychology of MMA.