Anthony Smith admits going to ‘dark place’ after BRUTAL knockout loss to Khalil Rountree

Despite being on the back foot after his loss, Anthony Smith is not done yet.


Anthony Smith admits going to ‘dark place’ after BRUTAL knockout loss to Khalil Rountree

Anthony Smith reflects on his loss to Khalil Rountree (Source: IMAGO/Twitter)

Anthony Smith recently found himself at the wrong end of a TKO skid. The light heavyweight saw a fateful knockout at the hands of Khalil Rountree on Dec. 10 Fight Night event, at UFC Vegas 83. Rountree dropped Smith early in the third round with a hard punch. The former light heavyweight title challenger suffered his third loss in four bouts. Recently, before, Smith had high hopes of capturing the light heavyweight title from Alex Pereira in ‘GOAT’ Jon Jones’ absence.

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Barring a win with Ryan Spann, the fighter is on a losing streak against Johnny Walker and Magomed Ankalaev. Now, halting his future aspirations, the fighter has shed light on his recent loss with Rountree. Speaking to Michael Bisping on the “Believe You Me” podcast, Smith said:

Sometimes you have to sit back and you’ve got to reevaluate and just kind of see where you are, what do you want, where do you want to go, what do you want to do, because it was a pretty dark place there for a while.
Anthony Smith via Michael Bisping podcast

Rountree was originally to square off with Azamat Murzakanov on a Dec. 2 event. But after Murzakanov withdrew due to pneumonia, Smith filled in. Smith said he was at 236 pounds when he got the call and had to cut to 205 in about 10 days. Now, conversely, the 14-5 striker Rountree himself has also put Dana White and Co. on alert, on facing Pereira next.

To prepare for Rountree, Smith had to quickly resource a southpaw training partner in addition to fulfilling a difficult weight cut. He worked with veteran Chris Curtis, whom he praised for approximating Rountree’s skills aptly. These are the turmoil he attributes to sending him to a ‘dark place‘ after the knockout, overall.

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Anthony Smith isn’t done after his loss to Khalil Rountree

Anthony Smith is fast approaching year 16 of his pro-MMA career. The fighter recently faced his worst loss to date going up against Khalil Rountree. “Lionheart” suffering a TKO skid was a tough affair, but the fighter is far from done. During recent interviews and social media outings, Smith indulged in the notion that he’d be back for good, sooner than later.

Although on a backpedal after his loss, Anthony Smith isn't done yet
Although on a backpedal after his loss, Anthony Smith isn’t done yet (Source: Twitter)

Attributing to the entirety of a training camp, over six, or seven weeks of the short-notice fight, the weight cut and training had posed many problems. Reeling from that, and a major loss, Smith divulged being in a mentally dark spot. He even considered hanging it all up, and deliberating when to do so. But he decided otherwise.

The fighter has decided to continue fighting but will change some things after talking with veteran Glover Teixeira. He admitted that his training need to be adapted according to his age.

Smith has to wonder when the time is right to hang up the gloves, and if not, how to move on. Barring that, the fighter aspires for a proper bounce back.

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