Anthony “Lionheart” Smith, appears to have recovered from his devastating loss to Glover Teixeira last Wednesday rather well.
Of course, after the match, everyone who tuned in couldn’t wait to head over to social media and waste everyone responsible for that fight. UFC analysts questioned Smith’s corner for not stopping the fight. Fellow fighters took to Twitter insisting the ref, Jason Herzog, was to blame for the injuries Smith sustained in the fight. Even noteable MMA analyst Chael Sonnen blasted the fight seemingly in its entirety.
The message was crystal clear: Anthony Smith is one tough SOB, but there was no reason to absorb the amount of damage that he had. Even coaches from other MMA camps lit into Smith’s cornermen, almost to take a cheap shot. Later, Herzog himself released a response in his handling of the Smith v. Teixeira fight.
— Jason Herzog (@JasonHerzogMMA) May 15, 2020
However, one person’s voice seemed drowned out in the discourse that followed the loss at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira: that of Anthony Smith.
If anyone has ever questioned Smith’s ability to speak on the UFC, they should probably stop.
Smith is nowhere near finished in his fight career. But when the day comes for him to drop the gloves in the Octagon, Smith has a bright future as an analyst. Earlier, Smith addressed the issues surrounding his fight with RJ Clifford on Fight Nation on Sirius XM. In his response, Smith is just as well-spoken as he is every time he joins Jon Anik and Joe Rogan for commentary. Smith praised Herzog for his skills in the Octagon.
“In the real world I did everything I had to do to stay in the fight as long as I did,” Smith started.
“When he stopped it was exactly the time he needed to stop it. He did his job. He’s a phenomenal ref. I have never been nervous about seeing Jason Herzog reffing my fights. I would let him ref it again. I think he does that good of a job,” he continued.
But Smith did take exception to one thing Herzog did later, the aforementioned apology Herzog posted on Twitter.
“But then don’t get on social media and put out a statement because people on Twitter were roasting you a little bit telling you that you did a shit job,” Smith insisted.
“The people that matter are the people that were involved in the fight. I make it a point before every fight to know the commands and know exactly what he expects out of every one of those commands … I need to know what it sounds like when you’re about to stop the fight, on my end of it, and if I’m trying to finish someone cause I need to know how close I am,” he explained.
Smith continued his explanation on being a fighter listening to a referee.
This is sometimes lost in translation. It is very easy for “armchair quarterbacks” to watch a fight and make a snap decision. Smith expanded on his situation in the Octagon when Teixeira started to take control of the bout.
“I responded the way he said he needed me to respond to continue to fight,” Smith explained.
“So why are you coming out to social media apologizing for doing your job exactly the way that I expected you to do it? I don’t need your goddamn apology. I don’t need you to put a statement out because you did your job the way your’e supposed to do it, and I did mine. And shit just went haywire and I got my ass kicked. It happens and this is how the game goes,” he continued.
Yet even after presented with a possible explanation of Herzog’s social media public address, Smith was unwavering in his point.
“I don’t need your feelings,” Smith stated.
“I’m a black and white type of guy … I’m going to speak on the fight situation that happened on Wednesday night. Outside of that, I think he’s a phenomenal guy … When it comes down to it, the black and white facts are, my corners didn’t have a choice. I take that away from them and maybe that is unfair. It’s just easier if the one single rule I have is followed,” Smith finished.
While the MMA community will continue to view this fight, in retrospect, to find fault, Smith stands strong on his view. This sport has a beautiful violence to it. We see fighters walk out of the cage frequently with bruised and bloodied bodies. And in the aftermath, it occurs to me that Smith is the – only person – I care to hear comment on the outcome of his own performance.
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) May 20, 2020