Anthony Smith is a veteran of the game with a tremendous amount of experience under his belt. The 32-year-old fighter will be in his 50th professional MMA contest in tomorrow’s main event against Devin Clark.
He has seen the highs and lows of MMA throughout his career. ‘Lionheart’ was a former middleweight contender but decided to get rid of the weight cut and made a move to the light heavyweight.
Here we take a look at 5 things that might not have been known about the former UFC title challenger.
At the very early stages of his MMA career, Smith went through adversity. In his early 20s in 2009, Smith suffered 4 consecutive MMA losses, all by stoppage. This would be hard for any fighter, especially for a 21-year-old promising prospect.
But that couldn’t break his determination and passion for the sport. In 2013 again, Smith went through a skid when he suffered 3 consecutive losses.
In his 49 fight career so far, Smith has fought in a staggering 22 different promotions. Besides from the much known UFC, Bellator MMA, and Strikeforce, Smith has been a part of Extreme Challenge, Crowbar MMA, Seconds Out Promotions, Max Fights, Tri-State Cage Fights, Xtreme Kombat League, Fight Club Inc., Fight to Win, Minnesota Combat Sports, and many more.
He was a champion in Cage Fury Fighting Championships and Victory Fighting Championship.
Smith managed 3 consecutive finishes in the UFC light-heavyweight division before realizing his title shot. He finished former champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua and then top contender Volkan Oezdemir before facing Jon Jones at UFC 235.
Smith came up short on his first shot at gold as he lost a unanimous decision against Jones. But then in his next fight, he submitted Swedish legend, Alexander Gustafsson.
Anthony Smith holds a 91% stoppage rate throughout his career. In his 33 professional wins, he has managed to finish 30 of his opponents.
He has 3 former World Champions on his finish list. Two UFC champions in Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua and former Bellator champion Hector Lombard. That is quite an impressive resume, to say the least.
Earlier in 2020, a few weeks before his bout against Glover Teixeira, ‘Lionheart’ had a terrifying house break-in. Luke Haberman, a former Nebraska high school wrestler, broke into Smith’s house at midnight. The invader got involved in a fistfight with Smith and somehow managed to escape.
Smith later described the incident as his own fault. He was quoted saying, “Unfortunately, part of this is my fault. I left the garage door wide open, which is not typical.
“Happens sometimes. So, there’s a video of him trying to get into a car. He runs away from the house and almost runs by my house. And stops, and steps right in.”
No doubt this was a horrific experience on Smith’s part. But he managed to come out unscathed. Smith will be taking on Devin Clark in the main event of tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night.
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