Anthony Smith’s leg surgery has caused serious complications that have hampered his ability to fight again.


Anthony Smith doesn’t enjoy having idle time on his hands.

The former UFC champion remains a top-ranked light heavyweight. He also spends time on Sirius XM, hosting the Believe You Me podcast alongside Michael Bisping, and as an analyst for numerous UFC broadcasts. He is a loving husband and father who loves to spend time outdoors with his children.

Smith has had to suspend most of his plans after having surgery for a fractured leg sustained in the fight against Magomed Anakalaev. Smith said that the actual surgery was successful during an UFC 280 preview of The Fighter. He revealed to UFC Writer that other medical issues have hindered his return to fight.

“To be honest with you, I’m kind of a mess right now,” Smith said. “The ankle itself and the leg is healing up nicely so I’ve been off of crutches for about a week now. For about one week, I have been walking on my own for the first time in a while. Started physical therapy yesterday. Physical therapy is always difficult if you aren’t used to it. My balance is not the best and I’m not as strong. It’s the same battle.

“I don’t even know if I’ve mentioned it too much but the night before I went to Paris [for UFC Paris], I had a weird allergic reaction to some meds. For a while, it was quite hairy. It was a really bad anaphylactic reaction. My airway was deteriorating and I could not swallow. I was having a tough time breathing. Kind of barely got to the hospital in time before things got too rough. Then after I got back from Paris, they found a blood clot in my leg. This blood clot has been bothering me for some time .”

A blood clot can form in the leg and become a more severe problem, particularly if it is broken free or gets trapped in another vein.

In severe cases, blood clots can lead to a pulmonary embolism. This can prove life-threatening if treatment is not received quickly.

When he first heard the diagnosis, Smith admits he was oblivious to the severity surrounding blood clots and the potential for serious risk to his long term health.

“When I got back from Paris, I had a lot of pain in my leg but not where the injury was,” Smith explained. “So my wife is a nurse and she’s like ‘you’ve got a blood clot’ and I’m like no, you’re godd*** crazy. Not a chance. I’m young, I’m healthy, I’m active. No way. But apparently that has nothing to do with it. They go in, find the key and say you can go home. It was strange to me that they would say that, as if it were a weird thing.

“So I go home and I jump in my vehicle and it’s already hooked up to my trailer and I just dip. I traveled 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 let me go because I thought they were going to home and not leaving the state .”

Smith was immediately put on oral blood thinners as well as being required to do two injections in his stomach daily until just recently. As it stands, he’s still not sure how long it will take to clear the blood clot from his leg so Smith remains on standby with doctors ordering him to avoid almost all physical activity.

” “It’s quite a big deal, and I didn’t really know it,” Smith stated. “You don’t really think about those kinds of issues when you’re my age when you’re healthy and active.

“I’m very familiar with blood clots. One of these clots will not be allowed to enter your lungs, brain or heart. Blood clots don’t just go away overnight. It’s a long ordeal typically. Your body has to absorb it, that takes time and the blood thinners, you can’t really do anything on blood thinners. You can’t take any shots to the head out of fear of brain bleeds. They won’t let me get massages, they are afraid to remove it. That would be a problem. You just never know what can happen. .”

After breaking his leg in July 30, Smith had surgery one week later. He hoped for a speedy recovery and could be back at the UFC soon.

Smith is now stuck in limbo with no plans to compete until the blood clot issue has been resolved.

“Initially before the blood clot, I was hoping to fight in January,” Smith said. “It’s probably a little bit optimistic but it’s possible. But the blood clot issue really set me back. Because it has its own timetable, I do not know exactly when that will happen. It’s its thing.

“Your body just has to absorb it and that could take a month. It could take six months. You could wait longer. It’s possible. It’s something I really hope to do soon. It’s been kind of a rough year for me to be honest with you.”

After beating Ryan Spann in September 2021, Smith had to have surgery on his knee. He then got a staph infection that left him unable to work for several months.

A 10-month absence was followed by the tragic loss of his mother just as Smith was preparing to get back into his next training camp. The 34-year-old veteran was then hopeful that a title shot could be on the horizon with a win over Ankalaev but instead his leg snapped and the fight ended in the second round.

Now Smith remains indefinitely awaiting news on when his career will resume. However, he is trying to remain positive despite the challenges he faces right now.

“It’s like I’m just getting f****** around every corner,” Smith said. It’s something I try to see as positive as possible. It could be just me. 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.

“Chris Weidman dealt with this throughout his entire career. His injury history has been a problem. He struggles to stay healthy, and he doesn’t seem to be able get through camp without getting hurt. Because we are such close friends, I am able to understand the intricacies and path of his career. It could be worse. It could get worse. Trying to keep a positive mindset about it. You’re not in control .”