- Anthony Smith’s corner failed to withdraw him from a prolonged beating at a UFC Fight Night event in Florida, Wednesday.
- The referee eventually intervened in the fifth round, awarding Glover Teixeira, 40, the victory.
- But the corner’s inability to act earlier in the fight was met with derision by MMA fighters on social media.
- Smith was taken to hospital after the defeat because of two missing teeth, a broken nose, and a broken orbital bone.
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MMA fighters are apoplectic at Anthony Smith’s corner for failing to stop a UFC fight when the American was given a horrific thrashing Wednesday.
The 31-year-old endured almost five full rounds of damage, losing by referee’s stoppage to the ruthless veteran Glover Teixeira at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.
Though Smith won the opening round, he was outstruck and outclassed through the rest of the contest, and hit 138 times in total according to UFC stats.
An MMA editor at The Athletic, Dann Stupp, said Smith’s “head literally no longer looks human” when observing the contest on Twitter.
Teixeira could be heard repeatedly apologizing to Smith in the middle of the fight, and the beaten fighter even lost teeth – which he handed to the referee to keep safe while the bout was ongoing.
For many, the damage Smith sustained was unnecessary and fingers were pointed at Smith’s trainers for not protecting him and withdrawing him from the bout.
The UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa was outraged. “This is getting hard to watch,” he tweeted. “I don’t want to watch Smith take more punishment.”
WHAT THE FUCK COACH!! This is getting hard to watch. I don’t want to watch Smith take more punishment. #UFCJAX
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) May 14, 2020
The ESPN MMA reporter Brett Okamoto referenced the commentator and lightweight fighter Paul Feldman, who said on the broadcast that Teixeira defeated Smith long before the fight was stopped in the fifth.
Yeah. Great commentating by Paul Felder. Listen to your fighter. Anthony Smith looked defeated in the corner. Not, 'in need of a pep talk' defeated. Like, gone. Stop the fight for him.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 14, 2020
The UFC commentator and former two-weight UFC champion Daniel Cormier said Smith’s corner “could have saved their guy from getting finished. Some mistakes in that corner tonight.”
I would have stopped the fight, corner could have saved their guy from getting finished. Some mistakes in that corner tonight. And I love those guys! Too much instruction, no crowd to filter it. Anthony Smith is a savage, but props to @gloverteixeira on big victory.
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) May 14, 2020
The former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping said MMA is behind the times when it comes to stopping contests, particularly when compared to the sport of boxing.
"We (MMA) need to catch up to boxing in terms of stopping fights." – Michael Bisping on broadcast.
Spot on. Live to fight another day. #UFCJAX
— Danny Segura (@dannyseguratv) May 14, 2020
Smith was rushed to hospital because of two missing teeth, a broken nose, and a broken orbital bone.
Regardless of the controversy surrounding an apparently late stoppage, Smith texted the ESPN MMA reporter Ariel Helwani and said he was fine with actions his corner and the referee took.
“I’m good with the decisions the referee and my corner made,” Smith said. “When the ref made it clear he needed to see something or he was gonna stop it, I did what I had to do to stay in the fight.
“I come out of battle with my shield or I come out on it. That’s my rule. Period.”
I asked Anthony Smith how he felt about the fight going long. Here’s what he said: pic.twitter.com/vv7CYaSELh
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 14, 2020
The UFC Fight Night event in Florida was the second of three UFC shows in eight days as it restarts its combat sports calendar after a two-month, coronavirus-enforced hiatus.
It is staying in Jacksonville for a third event on Saturday before possibly returning to Las Vegas to hold a show inside its own TV-studio at its Apex facility, potentially on May 30.