Anthony Smith has received praise in the wake of his title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 235 but claims he shouldn’t be complimented for just “doing the right thing.”
Smith went into the fight against Jones as the heavy underdog and gave a good account of himself in the opening round before the champion took control of the fight. However, in the fourth round, Jones landed an illegal knee to his downed opponent. The referee took a time-out to check on the welfare of Smith, who wanted to continue to fight.
“Lionheart” was praised by fans for his decision to continue to fight instead of taking the possible disqualification. However, the 30-year-old was a recent guest on ESPN’s Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show and claimed he shouldn’t be given all these plaudits considering it was the right thing to do in a fight in which he was being dominated.
“That’s the part that pisses me off,” Smith said. “This world is so crazy. I don’t need a pat on the back for doing the right thing. It’s like when you see people saying, ‘Oh my God, look at how good of a dad he is.’ You are supposed to be involved in your children’s life. You’re supposed to take care of your kids, you’re supposed to love your wife.
“You’re supposed to do all those things and you’re supposed to do the right things when it comes down to not taking the coward’s way out,” Smith continued. I don’t need a pat on the back for that and that’s why I haven’t talked about it. I just think I did the right thing.”
Jones also praised Smith for not taking the disqualification and even wanted to buy him a beer after the fight. Smith said he was more disappointed in himself for being on the ground for that long and letting Jones dominate him before the illegal knee landed.
“I was more pissed off that I took the knee because I was stuck on the bottom for like two or three minutes trying to get up not to take a knee, and I took it anyways,” he said. “So I was kind of chewing my own ass, ‘That’s what you get for being a p-----. You should’ve just stood up and taken the knee if it came and then got back to your feet.’ It’s like I almost punished myself, ‘That’s what you get for hanging out and trying to be slick,’ you know?”