It was nothing personal.
At least that’s what UFC light heavyweight Glover Teixeira wanted Anthony Smith to think as the 40-year-old Brazilian was raining down punches upon his head and body on Wednesday night in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 29 at Vystar Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.
Smith got off to a fast start in the bout, but a massive punch by Teixeira changed things dramatically in the second round.
From that point forward, Teixeira inflicted a savage, one-sided beatdown on his opponent that ultimately resulted in Smith suffering a broken orbital bone, broken nose and several other major injuries.
In the end, Smith was almost unrecognizable when the action was finally halted in the fifth round.
How savage was it? Teixeira actually apologized to Smith during the fight for what he was doing to him.
“Sorry, Anthony, it’s part of the job,” Teixeira said during one particularly bad onslaught in the fourth round.
“What?” Smith asked.
“Sorry. Part of the job,” Teixeira said
“Yeah. It is what it is,” Smith conceded.
You can watch their mid-fight conversation below.
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Smith Suffered Massive Injuries During Fight
The fight was a gruesome and bloody battle, and the injuries Smith revealed afterward align with the action fans witnessed from home.
Smith suffered numerous injuries during Texiera’s onslaught. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Smith revealed afterward that he left the Octagon with a broken nose, broken orbital bone, two missing teeth and a cut under his right eye.
Amazingly, none of the injuries Smith sustained during the fight kept the fighter from trying to win. Despite being practically destroyed during the third and fourth rounds, Smith still came out to fight in the fifth even when it was readily apparent by that point that he probably shouldn’t.
Smith truly lived up to his “Lionheart” moniker, going so far even during the savage onslaught to hand the referee his missing teeth for safekeeping.
What’s Next for Smith?
Smith has already enjoyed a tremendous MMA career, but some might wonder where he goes from here.
He’s been a mainstay of courage, tenacity and resilience in the UFC, and he’s become one of the most popular contenders in the sport over recent years.
At the end of 2013, he had an overall record of just 18-11 and was on a three-fight losing streak.
But he entered his big battle against Teixeira on Wednesday night in Jacksonville with a 33-14 record, and he was coming off a world title challenge against Jon Jones and a submission win over Alexander Gustafsson in his last two fights.
What Smith has accomplished in his career is amazing.
He suffered a devastating loss against Teixiera, but something tells me he’ll be back inside the UFC’s Octagon again just as soon as he heals back up from his injuries.
He’s been one of the best 205-pound fighters in the world over the last two years, and his loss to Teixeria didn’t change that.