Anthony Smith lost his real teeth – not just veneers – in one of several injuries at UFC on ESPN+ 29.
In addition, Smith (32-15 MMA, 8-5 UFC) came out of Wednesday’s UFC on ESPN+ 29 light heavyweight headliner with Glover Teixeira (31-7 MMA, 14-5 UFC) with a fractured orbital bone and broken nose. He also lost a pair of real teeth, in addition to his veneers, in the process.
MMA Junkie verified the injuries stemming from the fifth-round TKO loss with Smith following an initial report from ESPN. “Lionheart” was transported to a local hospital immediately after the bout alongside his wife.
After a solid start to his main event showdown with Teixeira at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., Smith got caught with a big shot in the second round that floored him. From there he was stuck in survival mode, taking a lot of damage before referee Jason Herzog finally stepped in in the final round.
The criticism for the drawn-out nature of Smith’s defeat has fallen on his team at Factory X gym as well as the referee Herzog. Smith didn’t place blame on either for how the fight played out, though, and felt he lost in an appropriate manner.
“I’m good with the decisions the referee and my corner made,” Smith told ESPN. “When the ref made it clear he needed to see something or was gonna stop it, I did what I had to do to stay in the fight. I come out of battle with my shield or I come out on it. That’s my rule. Period.”
UFC president Dana White didn’t land on the same line of thinking as Smith, and felt Herzog and the corner let it go on too long.
The ref could’ve stopped that in the fourth,” White said. “Us sitting on the outside it was a little tough to watch.”