Anthony Smith reveals why he didn’t stay down after taking an illegal knee from Jon Jones.
While Anthony Smith has already explained where his nickname comes from, he definitely proved that he has the heart of a lion in his bout with Jon Jones.
As someone whose toughness stands out even amongst UFC fighters, Smith’s decision to get back up after an illegal knee might not have come as a shock to some fans.
After Jones illegally kneed Smith on the ground, Smith could have remained down, especially considering how hurt he was at the time and he would have been the light-heavyweight champion.
Smith revealed that his decision wasn’t made to try and be brave and confident but rather because he didn’t realise the consequences of his actions at the time.
“There was never a choice. I think that people think that I made this conscious decision to not do that.
“At the time, I had no idea that I would have been champion.”
While it might not have been to look tough, there’s no denying how hard Smith proved himself to be at that moment.
Jon Jones deducted 2 points for an illegal knee to the head of Smith. #ufc235 #vegas pic.twitter.com/2ad1CQmHoV
— Mick Akers (@mickakers) March 3, 2019
Why he couldn’t quit
Smith admits that the knee hurt him and that his corner could also tell just how hurt he was.
“I know that my coaches didn’t want me to keep going because they could tell I was hurt. I remember looking at Marc (Montoya).
“He just said, ‘Are you actually ok?’ I said ‘Yeah’ and he said, ‘You’re lying.’ (I responded) ‘Yeah’… That was it.”
Perhaps the best show of toughness from what Smith said came next as he explained the big reason that he didn’t give up.
“It was never like, ‘Oh my god, I could be the champion.’
“What I didn’t want to do and what I’ve never been able to do in my entire career… I wasn’t willing to let Jon Jones know he hurt me, I would never have given him that moment… never.
“I couldn’t say it, I can’t say it out loud, I could be holding onto my head after it’s detached and I’ll tell you, ‘No, I’m good, it’s fine.’ I’ll never say.”
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