On Monday, former light heavyweight title challenger, Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith (33-14 MMA, 8-4 UFC) joined Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show to talk UFC 247 Jones vs. Reyes and his future plans in the light heavyweight division.
Smith, who’s used to a busy fight schedule, hasn’t fought since June of 2019. During this time, he’s been able to repair his hands which required two surgeries and almost amputating his left pointer finger.
“I almost cut my finger off,” Smith told Helwani. “We were gonna amputate my pointer finger, because all the scar tissue was grabbing on to the ligament, not allowing it to close and slide back and forth.”
Lionheart went on to explain how he still would’ve been able to fight, had he amputated his finger.
“So the idea was that if we amputated the finger and then screwed those ligaments to that bone after it healed, I could still use the other three fingers in my thumb to grapple and there would still technically be a knuckle there, so I could still punch,” Smith said.
Helwani asked if amputating the finger would’ve been voluntary.
“Yeah, because I couldnt close it,” Smith replied. “The scar tissue was building up faster than they could remove it.”
Smith was eventually able to find a way to stop the scar tissue from building up, thanks to a ‘crazy old lady.’
“Some crazy old lady did this different type of therapy where they attached electricity to my wrist and to my forearm and moved it around. (She) was able to catch the muscle that closes the hand and really, she just crushed through the scar tissue,” Smith said.
Smith then repeated that same treatment everyday, until he was able to close his hand and have full range of motion.
Smith is set to headline UFC Fight Night Lincoln in April against former light heavyweight title challenger, Glover Teixeira. The fight is set to be a homecoming for Smith, taking place in Nebraska at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.