This one was tough to watch but Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith has earned his nickname. He fought Glover Teixeira in the main event of the UFC’s midweek card in Jacksonville, Florida. Fight fans watched four rounds of brutality as Smith took the beating of his life. Seriously, it was tough to watch.
The narrative coming into this one was that Teixeira is washed up. On the wrong side of 40, Smith was expected to wipe the floor with him. But now suddenly the Brazilian is on a four-fight win streak. Just two fights ago, Smith fought Jon Jones for the title. He could even have been champion if he decided to get Jones disqualified.
But instead, he drops to 1-2 in his past three fights. MMA is a cruel sport as the likes of Michael Johnson found out tonight. Check out below for some of the action from the night. Watch as Smith picks up his teeth and hands them to referee Jason Herzog.
Teixeira: Sorry, Anthony, it’s part of the job.
Teixeira: Sorry. Part of the job.
Smith: Yeah. It is what it is.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 14, 2020
This was an action-packed fight but nobody expected it to take the direction that it did. Smith actually took the first round. He used long strikes to control the octagon and inflicted damage on his Brazilian foe. But it all changed for the worst in the middle of the second round. Smith started to tire.
Smith took so much damage in the final three rounds, it’s not right. Teixeira beat him down and deserves more credit than he’s getting for the win. The stoppage came at the beginning of the fifth round. But it should have stopped before then.
— UFC (@ufc) May 14, 2020
In fact, it was so bad that Smith had teeth knocked out. As he lay on the ground with Teixeira on top of him, he handed them to Herzog. It’s an iconic but ludicrous image. Meanwhile, he confirmed to his corner that he had lost teeth at the end of round four. They should have thrown in the towel.
That’s one of the big takeaways from this bout, that MMA corners let fights go too far. Yes, he is a warrior but it definitely didn’t help lengthen his career or improve his health. Now he’s going to be out action for a lengthy spell as he heals up.
— UFC (@ufc) May 14, 2020
Ariel Helwani confirmed that Smith suffered a lot of damage. Furthermore, those were his real teeth, not veneers as his corner reported. The ESPN journalist confirmed that Smith texted him and told him the damage. It was brutal. He explained:
“Just spoke to Anthony Smith via text. Injuries suffered tonight: Broken nose, broken orbital bone, two missing teeth and a cut under his right eye. One tooth in front and one towards the back, he said. His real teeth.”
Credit to Smith for being so tough but he needed more from his corner. Saying “we’re not about to lose this fight” doesn’t change the reality. Meanwhile, Herzog is also at fault because he let Smith take so much damage. A tough one to watch. In sum, you shouldn’t have to hand the referee your teeth.