Anthony Smith has fought Jon Jones for the UFC light-heavyweight championship, but he has never experienced anything quite as challenging as the moment he found a strange man standing in his home.
Smith, 31, detailed the nightmarish run-in in a new interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning at approximately 4 a.m. in Omaha. Smith was woken up by his wife, who informed her husband she heard a “man’s voice screaming at the top of his lungs.” The light-heavyweight turned the corner outside of his bedroom and saw Luke Haberman.
“I didn’t know what he had,” Smith said. “Typically people don’t break into your house in the middle of the night for any good reasons. I’m expecting that I’m gonna hear a gunshot or he’s gonna stab me. Like he’s got something. I figure I’ve got about two minutes before whatever he’s got takes me out.”
Smith’s wife rounded up the children and kept them safe in a bedroom. Smith, meanwhile, tussled with the intruder.
“No normal human is able to fight like that,” Smith recalled. “I’m by no means the baddest dude on the planet. But he’s a regular Joe and I had a hard time dealing with him. And he took everything that I gave him — every punch, every knee, every elbow. He took every single one of them and kept fighting me.”
“You always just think you’re such a bad ass,” Smith said. “I just don’t feel like one. I feel... insufficient a little bit. I didn’t know it was possible to be that terrified.”
At on point, Smith called for his mother-in-law to get him a knife from the kitchen. Smith was handed a carving knife, but found it difficult to restrain Haberman with one hand. Haberman began calling for someone else, and Smith said he was prepared to “bury” the knife in Haberman should a second assailant arrive.
“I’m not lying when I say it was one of the toughest fight I’ve ever had in my whole life.”
Smith asserted the man was not mentally stable. Late into the altercation, Smith’s wife grabbed the man’s feet. Smith warned Haberman not to kick Smith’s wife. Haberman politely agreed and continued fighting Smith while keeping his legs still.
In a strange twist of fate, Smith also revealed Sunday night was the first-time he slept without a gun by his bedside in six-months. Nebraska is a concealed carry state and Smith had forgotten to remove the gun from a bag he was carrying earlier that day.
After police arrived and detained Haberman, Smith walked by the intruder and Haberman simply replied, “Hey man, I’m sorry.” Haberman was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal trespass.
What Smith took away most from the incident: “My family was so brave.”
Smith (32-14) has won three of his last four fights, or four of his last five so to speak, and is scheduled to headline UFC Lincoln against Glover Teixeira (30-7) on April 25.