Anthony Smith Addresses Glaring Hole In His Game, Retirement Rumors And Fan Criticism After UFC Charlotte

Anthony Smith shared his thoughts on fans and his own skill set after his decisive loss to Johnny Walker at UFC Charlotte

Anthony Smith
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Anthony Smith is quite ready to hang up his gloves despite a disappointing loss against Johnny Walker at UFC Charlotte.

‘Lionheart’ dropped his second straight inside the Octagon, coming up short against streaking standout Johnny Walker. Following the loss, Smith was bombarded with a series of attacks on social media. Unfortunately, it’s not all that uncommon this day in age with fans having direct access to athletes and celebrities through platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Appearing on the Believe You Me podcast opposite Michael Bisping, Smith discussed the hate he has received since last Saturday. He also confirmed that his career in mixed martial arts is far from over. 

“It’s probably the most hate that I’ve got, probably ever. ‘You need to retire. You’re trash. You suck. You don’t belong.’ Whatever. First of all, I’m not retiring,” Smith confirmed. “That’s not happening, not like that, that’s for sure. I’m not going out like that. I still have it. There’s some problems that I’ve gotta fix for sure, but I don’t know. It’s definitely not going to happen like that. It’s not gonna be on a whim.”

Many fans watching the broadcast were quick to assume that ‘Lionheart’ was ready to call it a career after removing his gloves inside the Octagon.

“It’s not the first time I’ve taken my gloves off in the cage before. It’s very documented that I’ve had lots of hand injuries. The gloves and the hand wraps bother me. They cramp my hands. They’re tight. They hold them open and they just bother my hands.”

Anthony Smith Admits His Legs Can’t Take the Abuse They Used To

Over the course of 15 minutes, Smith’s offense was rendered ineffective as Johnny Walker was able to exploit with ‘Lionheart’ admits is a pretty massive hole in his game.

“I don’t have no excuses. I had an incredible training camp. I left no stone unturned. I didn’t cut any corners. I put all the work in. I was in great shape. I felt good. I was uninjured, but there is a glaring hole in my game. It’s the leg kicks. It’s become a liability at this point. It’s not even a hole in my game anymore. It’s a liability. I’d love to see the numbers and see how many leg kicks I’ve absorbed in my UFC career. It’s got to be in the thousands and at this point, checking them isn’t even good enough because I checked a good number of those kicks and it got to the point where the checking didn’t even matter. It hurt worse to check than it did just to lift it and take it.

“I think over time I’ve taken so many that my body’s just not… My leg isn’t taking them as well as it used to. We’ve addressed it over and over. We’ve changed my stance, my movement. We’ve changed the block. We’ve changed the defense. I do it in practice and for whatever reason, we get into the fights and I can’t do it in the fight, I don’t know why.”

The Negative Comments Have Began to Upset ‘Lionheart’

Like most mixed martial artists, Smith has typically been able to tune out the noise of obnoxious “fans” and keyboard warriors online. However, this latest round of drivel from the combat sports community appears to have gotten under his skin, questioning why he continues to engage with fans altogether. 

“I’ve never really cared about the online trolls and people talking sh*t. Never really bothered me before, but I’m real angry about it now. It was everything I could do to not come at the media and freak out on every single… Because I haven’t done anything to anybody so why do people feel like… Is this where we are today? In society, people are so comfortable just sh*tting on someone that they don’t know. 

“I’m a good dude. I take care of my family. I help the people around me. I’m nice. I tip really well. I do all the things right and I put in all the effort. I sacrifice. I run myself into car accidents every single day and it wasn’t my night. He did a great job and he was better. He took advantage of a hole in my game and he did it better than I could and that’s the game, but I just can’t believe the way that people are talking about me. It’s insane. It makes you really jaded. Like, why am I so cool with the fans?”

Published on May 17, 2023 at 3:00 pm
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