Anthony Smith Reflects on Recent Loss, Acknowledges Need for Change

Anthony Smith, a seasoned fighter, feels a change in strategy is needed. This comes after a recent defeat to Khalil Rountree at UFC Fight Night 233 in December. Smith, with a record of 37-19, had stepped up to face Rountree on short notice. This was after Azamat Murzakanov had to pull out of his original fight with the Tiger Muay Thai representative due to pneumonia.

Rountree, who was on a four-fight winning streak, managed to land more powerful blows in the first two rounds. He even managed to hurt Smith during an exchange in the second round. Eventually, Rountree, also known as “The War Horse,” landed a sharp uppercut and a left hook in the third round’s opening minute. This sent Smith, aka “Lionheart,” crashing to the canvas. This loss means Smith has only won one of his last four Octagon fights.

After reflecting on his defeat during the holiday season, “Lionheart” admitted that accepting a short-notice fight against a formidable opponent like Rountree might not have been the best move. Smith, a veteran of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, also believes that Rountree being a Southpaw didn’t help. He didn’t have enough time to prepare for this particular challenge.

“I knew he was going to be fast, but it was shocking how fast he is, how he goes from zero to 100 so fast,” Smith confessed to Michael Bisping on the “Believe You Me” podcast. He struggled with the speed during the fight, and his body just wasn’t reacting fast enough. Some of this, he believes, is due to not being in fight shape and not having been in camp. However, he doesn’t use this as an excuse but accepts it as his mistake.

Smith now thinks it’s time to change his approach. He agrees with Bisping’s suggestion not to accept short-notice fights unless it’s for the title. The 35-year-old also plans to focus on one fight at a time instead of obsessing over a championship.

“I think I came to the conclusion that I still like fighting and I still want to do it. There are some things that need to change though,” Smith admitted. He had a conversation with Glover Teixeira that he believes helped a lot. He feels that as fighters age, they need to adapt and change some things. Smith also thinks he needs to stop being so focused on the end goal. He believes that by not being so concerned about the title, he can fully focus on the challenge in front of him.

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