The UFC events are far from ordinary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with UFC 249 this past Saturday, May 9, the promotion is putting on two more cards inside an empty VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Anthony Smith headlines one of those events, taking on Glover Teixeira at UFC on ESPN+ 29, Wednesday, May 13.
Every fighter and cornerman is being tested for the virus and some are shown wearing masks at the host hotel on social media. It’s a unique situation to say the least.
“I don’t love the reason we have to do it obviously. But the way that this is, this is right up my alley,” Smith said to Clifford.
“I love not having to be here for almost an entire week. Typically when you’re the main event you have to come in on Monday all the way through and you fight on Saturday,” Smith added. “I came here Monday, I’m fighting Wednesday. I got here yesterday and I’m fighting tomorrow.”
Go your own way
Smith spent the eve before his fight at his Airbnb in Jacksonville. The light-heavyweight also mentioned his with his wife and three daughters. It’s just another perk for him while fighting during the pandemic.
The Nebraska native was one of the last two fighters to weigh in at the host hotel this morning, Tuesday, May 12. Smith came to the scale with all smiles as he hit his mark at 205 lbs.
According to the 31-year-old, it’s one of the few times he goes the host hotel.
“ I hate all the tension because there is so much tension walking through the host hotel. You’ll see another fighter and he’s not even in your weight class, they see each other and their chest gets all puffed out, they get this mean look,” Smith said. “I just do my own thing. If I don’t have to be at the host hotel for like an interview or a photo shoot or whatever, I’m not there.”
About 24 hours ahead of his fifth-straight main event bout, Anthony Smith is happy where he is; literally.
“I don’t like being at the host hotel because everyone is so stressed that it makes me stressed. Not because I’m stressed about my own fight because I could give a shit less. I’m going to go in there and what’s going to happen is going to happen. I made peace with that a long time ago,” Smith said. “It’s like they bring this bad juju and it ends getting inflicted on you and I don’t like it.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.