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Battered Anthony Smith defends referee, corner at UFC Jacksonville — ‘I’m good with the decisions made’

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The Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira main event, which took place at UFC Jacksonville last night (Weds., May 13, 2020) on ESPN+ from inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., got a little tough to watch after the end of the third round.

That’s because “Lionheart” sustained heavy damage from the fists of the Brazilian bricklayer, and it got to the point where most combat sports fans were calling for the towel, or perhaps an early intervention from referee Jason Herzog.

Neither happened — and that’s fine by Smith.

“I’m good with the decisions the referee and my corner made,” the former middleweight told Ariel Helwani. “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.”

Smith lost two of his teeth and suffered multiple facial fractures.

The referee has a wide variety of responsibilities inside the cage, including the discretion to stop a fight when an athlete is no longer performing at a competitive level. In addition, the corner is tasked with protecting their fighters from themselves.

Particularly those who are willing to die inside the cage.

“The ref could’ve stopped that in the fourth,” UFC President Dana White said (via MMA Junkie). “Us sitting on the outside, it was a little tough to watch.”

We’re unlikely to see Smith (33-15) before the end of the year, or perhaps 2021, based on the severity of his injuries. As for Teixeira (21-7), his standout performance is likely to send him somewhere in or around the Top 5 of the light heavyweight division.

For complete UFC Jacksonville results and play-by-play click here.