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Anthony Smith squashes retirement talk: ‘I’m not retiring like that’

Not only is “Lionheart” not retiring after his loss to Johnny Walker at UFC Charlotte, he never even considered it.

UFC Fight Night: Smith v Walker Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Anthony Smith lost a tough three-round fight to Johnny Walker at UFC Charlotte this past weekend (Sat., May 13, 2023) inside Spectrum Center in North Carolina. It was a slow and methodical fight that saw Walker decimate Smith’s leg with kicks. “Lionheart” seemed to be struggling to shift gears, and never really got into the fight.

Smith was so frustrated following the decision loss that he took his gloves off in the cage and seemed about to retire. It was an open question following the event as to whether we’d see him fight again.

In a new episode of Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, Smith discussed the loss and shot down the idea that he’d go out like that.

“It’s probably the most hate I’ve got, probably ever,” he said (via MMA News) “‘You need to retire, you’re trash, you suck.’ First of all, I’m not retiring. It’s not happening. Not like that, that’s for sure. I’m not going out like that.

“Listen, I still have it,” Smith continued. “There’s problems I gotta fix for sure, but, I don’t know, it’s definitely not gonna happen like that.”

“Lionheart” said retirement was never on his mind, and he only took off his gloves because his hands hurt after the fight.

“It’s not the first time I’ve taken my gloves off in the cage before,” he said. “It’s very documented that I’ve had lots of hand injuries. The gloves and the hand wraps bother me. They cramp my hands, they’re tight, they hold them open. It bothers me.

“Not retired,” he reiterated.

The loss to Walker snapped a three-fight win streak that Smith was on. Where he was once on the cusp of another Light Heavyweight title shot, he’ll have to string together another run to get back in contention ... just as the division is only getting tougher.

For complete UFC Charlotte results, coverage and highlights click HERE.

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