Anthony Smith’s body can’t possibly thank him enough for deciding to make the jump up to Light Heavyweight in June 2018.
Ahead of Smith’s most recent appearance at UFC 277 late last month (July 30, 2022), he experienced what he describes as his worst weight cut yet at 205 pounds. The one-time title challenger doesn’t necessarily label it a “bad one,” but definitely the toughest in his current division thus far.
Regardless, it was still nowhere near as difficult as his past cuts to Middleweight.
“There were several times when I was cutting to ‘85 I wasn’t sure I was going to live. Yeah, it was bad,” Smith told The MMA Hour. “I used to have to kneel in the back behind the curtain for a long time. Then I’d have to hurry up and stand — like if they had the little weird [mechanical] scale — they would have to put it exactly where I said I was on the check scale. Because if I had to stand there any longer and let them f—k around with it for too long, I’d pass out.
“I’d have to kneel with my head up and as soon as I stood, my coaches would get me up, I’d stand on the scale,” he continued. “That’s why I was rushed to the back because I wasn’t gonna be conscious much longer.”
“Lionheart” has competed 11 times as a Light Heavyweight with his last fight resulting in a 17th overall career setback, suffering defeat via second round technical knockout to Magomed Ankalaev. The loss for Smith (36-17) snapped a three-fight win streak and left him injured with a broken leg in the process.
Going forward, the 34-year-old will take to the desk as an analyst for the next three UFC events while he heals up. When he returns, don’t expect the Omaha, Neb., resident to make any drastic changes and return to 185 pounds.
“I couldn’t even walk from my hotel to the scale,” Smith said. “If it was a five-minute walk, it would take me 15 minutes because every five steps or so I’d have to kneel because I was trying to stay conscious.”