UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith went to bed on Saturday night just like any other weekend, but by early Sunday morning, one of the most dangerous 205-pound fighters in the world found himself in the fight of his life against an intruder who had entered his home for an unknown reason in the middle of the night through an open garage.
Smith revealed the epic clash to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
“No normal human is able to fight like that,” Smith said. “I’m by no means the baddest dude on the planet. But he’s a regular Joe and I had a hard time dealing with him. And he took everything that I gave him — every punch, every knee, every elbow. He took every single one of them and kept fighting me.”
Smith revealed he tried to subdue the intruder for more than five minutes while waiting for the police to arrive but couldn’t quite get the job done. No matter how many punches, kicks and elbows Smith landed, the intruder refused to go down. Even after his mother-in-law brought him a kitchen knife to help him subdue the intruder, Smith said it was all he could do to keep the man from overwhelming him.
The 31-year-old said he experienced a wide range of emotions throughout the encounter, including fear for himself and his wife, mother-in-law and three daughters who were also in the house at the time of the incident.
Smith said the whole thing was “terrifying” even for one of the top MMA athletes on the planet.
“I didn’t know what he had,” Smith said. “Typically people don’t break into your house in the middle of the night for any good reasons. I’m expecting that I’m gonna hear a gunshot or he’s gonna stab me. Like he’s got something. I figure I’ve got about two minutes before whatever he’s got takes me out.”
Smith said his wife woke him early Sunday morning to alert him that an intruder was insider their home. Smith said he could hear a “man’s voice screaming at the top of his lungs.” He left the bedroom and found the intruder in an adjacent room.
That man, later identified by police as Luke Haberman, rushed toward Smith. That’s when the UFC fighter leaped into action.
But Smith ended up with way more than he bargained for, even though the trained UFC fighter also seemingly outweighed Haberman by 30 or so pounds.
“I’m not lying when I said it was one of the toughest fights I’ve had in my whole life,” Smith said. “I went into that fight ready to die. Nobody smart breaks into a house in the middle of the night unarmed. … When they break in at night, it’s to hurt people.”
Smith said he was surprised he couldn’t quite subdue Haberman before the police arrived. But Smith also said maybe his nerves got the better of him.
“You always just think you’re such a badass,” Smith said. “I just don’t feel like one. I feel … insufficient a little bit. I didn’t know it was possible to be that terrified.”
Once the police arrived, Haberman was subdued, arrested and charged with first-degree criminal trespass per ESPN’s Marc Raimondi.
By that time, blood was everywhere as the two men had fought hard until the police arrived.
There’s no known reason as to why Haberman entered the home. What is known is that Smith and his family will likely never sleep quite as soundly again, at least for the foreseeable future.
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