Anthony Smith has taken shots at those who believe that he should have taken the DQ victory when he was caught with an illegal knee by the champion at UFC 235.
The fight itself wasn’t a massively competitive affair by any stretch but in one brief moment, Lionheart had the opportunity to take an out that would have changed the face of the sport as we know it.
The perks of being a champion – even under circumstances such as these – would have no doubt been huge for Anthony and his family but upon continuing to fight on in a seemingly unwinnable fight, he deservedly earned the respect of the MMA world.
Smith spoke to MMAFighting and explained his take on those who had put forth the idea that he should have taken the opportunity to defeat Jon Jones by disqualification.
“I’m gonna sound very, very harsh saying this, but if you as an athlete have the balls to come to me face to face and say, ‘You should have taken the DQ and taken the easy way out,’ you’re a f*cking coward, too. And the people that are giving me props and a pat on the back for doing the right thing, I really, really appreciate them wanting to take time out of their day wanting to appreciate someone with a high moral mindset.
“But I don’t need the pat on the back. I’ve never had anyone pat me on the back for anything I’ve ever done and I don’t need it now. I’m a self-motivated guy and I do things because that’s how I do it and I want to do the right thing.”
“I was really shocked at some of the athletes that said if they were in my position they would have taken the easy way out. Well, like, that’s why I’m f*cking here and they’re not. It’s the same thing for the fans that want to almost chastise me for not doing it, like telling me I’m stupid for not doing it. Well, that’s exactly why I’m the one fighting on pay-per-view and you’re sitting at home complaining about it.
“I didn’t see anything that looked completely intentional. I think it was careless. I think that Jon, historically, is a little bit careless. Just in general, Jon tends to be careless. But it didn’t look like he was maliciously trying to do something dirty. He just does his own thing and that’s who Jon is.”
Smith would have no doubt missed out hugely in the financial sense of the world as a result of this decision but make no mistake, he was able to leave the octagon with his head held high.
It was a decision that could have cost him millions between his win bonus, champion’s pay, and PPV cut for what would have been an inevitable rematch.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena