Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith has no excuse for being the backup for the UFC 283 title fight between Jamahal Hill and Glover Teixeira.
“It wasn’t for lack of effort,” Smith said on the Believe You Me podcast he shares with UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping. “I spent 48 hours straight losing weight. It wasn’t for lack of effort. No one saw me on the scale looking like I had 20 extra pounds to lose. got closer, but it wasn’t enough, and it’s my fault – it’ll never happen again.
“I’ll be first on the ladder for my next fight. And I’m not a serial weight loser. It happens, and it wasn’t on purpose. I apologized to everyone who cared.
Smith, who took the backup job after Hill was pulled from their fight at UFC Vegas 71, came in at 209 pounds, four pounds over the hard limit of 205 pounds set for fights for the light heavyweight title. It was his first miss on the UFC scale.
It turned out that Smith’s services were no longer needed after Hill and Teixeira gained weight, a fact that helped ease tensions with the UFC.
“They weren’t very happy about it, but once the fights got going and everything was fine, everyone was fine,” Smith said. “They know I’m a professional and things happen. I offered no apologies, and that’s on me.
As for the why of the failure, Smith indicated that he was close to gaining weight before things got out of hand.
“I can’t even tell you what happened, because no matter what I say, there’s a reason, there’s a lot of crap going on behind the scenes that no one sees.” he declared. “I was in good shape, I was really low a few weeks ago, and shit happens, and I have no excuses.”
Smith said he was still ready to fight last Saturday night, but not as a title challenger because he didn’t make the championship weight.
Smith’s part-time job as a UFC analyst often puts him on the front lines of weight-cutting controversy, and he hasn’t held his tongue about the struggles of other fighters on the scale. He previously detailed his own weight issues while competing in the middleweight class, despite never being heavy at 185 pounds. He said his experience won’t stop him from holding others accountable.
“I’ve been an absolute a***** on people who are underweight,” Smith said. “You have a job: you have to show up on weight. That’s the easiest part of the job, isn’t it? So I stand by everything I said about everyone, that he have to gain weight, that it’s not an option, and I’ll accept whatever happens to me. It doesn’t change my point of view.
“I’m still going to do it. The next person who is missing weight, I’m going to say something about it. ‘Cause everyone’s picking on me, they’re in the comments, they’re on Twitter, they’re talking shit. You know what? I will eat it. Shit happened, I screwed up, I lost weight, I’m gonna eat that shit. I’ll take that L. It is what it is.