Journeyman Anthony Smith had to go through a long way to earn a crack at a UFC gold only to be dominated by Jon Jones in their light heavyweight title bout last Saturday.
The 30-year-old American found no answer on Jones’ firepower and was completely battered in five rounds, losing the main event fight via unanimous decision.
Despite the loss, the challenger earned the respect of the MMA community for living up to his moniker by displaying the heart of a lion in the fourth round.
Smith opted to continue the fight after absorbing illegal knee and a kick to the head while he was down, reigniting talks that the current light heavyweight champion is a dirty fighter.
“Lionheart” has discussed the reason behind this decision in the post-fight presser, saying he didn’t want to win via disqualification.
When asked about the ‘dirty fighter’ tag on his rival, Smith came up with a classy response.
— Sports Illustrated MMA (@SI_MMA) March 3, 2019
He earned a shot at the 205-pound strap after an impressive submission of Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Moncton last October, where he also took home the Performance of the Night honours.
It could have been a win by disqualification for the challenger but he decided to continue the fight, leading to more punishment from “Bones.”
Lost For A Second
As for the illegal strike that could have granted him a victory, he stressed that he did not want to win the light heavyweight title via disqualification.
During the post-fight presser, he was also urged to give his opinion on Jones being tagged by some as a “dirty fighter.” Smith paused for a moment, processing his answer, before coming up with a classy response to the reporter’s question.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Uh, are you talking about the kick and the knee, and all the other bulls**t? As far as the PED stuff, I mean, it’d be really easy for me to sit here and blame that, man. As far as that goes, no, I don’t think he is right now. I’m not saying that he’s never been.
“Again, I’m not gonna give Jon a pass. I think he has used PEDs in the past, but I think that right now, he’s a clean fighter. Until I see the knees and the kick from the outside, I can’t answer that either.”
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Jon Jones and Anthony Smith)