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Anthony Smith defends cornermen: My rule is ‘never’ throw in the towel, or you’re out

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Anthony Smith defends his cornermen who are currently getting flak for not throwing in the towel at UFC Jacksonville.

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Anthony Smith’s coaches are currently under fire. Most people, including former UFC champions Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier believe “Lionheart” was unnecessarily compromised because the cornermen failed to intervene earlier and stop the fight against Glover Teixeira at UFC Jacksonville a week ago.

But apparently, these are Smith’s own protocols as part of his corner during a fight, and going against it could be costly.

“I feel bad because they’re in a tough spot. I don’t know if they wanted to stop it or if they thought about it. But, I take that option away from them,” Smith recently told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani (transcript by “Before any of this ever happened, before anything, I took that option away a long time ago. If you want to sit in my corner, that’s my rule.

“You don’t stop the fight. Leave it in my hands. Don’t take it out of my hands. So, I’ve told them before, if you stop the fight, if you throw the towel in, you can go ahead and walk back to the locker room by yourself because I’ll never stand by you again.”

For Smith, a cornerman stepping in while he’s in a bad spot could ultimately ruin any chances of turning the tide.

“I don’t need liabilities in my corner. The way that I fight, I end up in sh-tty spots sometimes,” he said. “And that’s just how it goes. Most of the time, I’ve been able to come back and win. And sometimes, you can’t. Sometimes you just run out of time, and sometimes it’s just too high of a hill to climb.

“But, I don’t need those liabilities. I don’t need to be getting to bad spots, working my ass off to try to get to a better position, and constantly have in the back of my head worrying that my corners gonna step in and not give me the opportunity.

“Whether they did or didn’t it didn’t matter. That’s the rule. We don’t stop fights, that’s it,” he added. “There are a lot of people that is on and that is the referee and the doctor. There’s a reason those people have a job. That’s their job.

“If he thought that it needed to be stopped, then that’s on him. If the doctor thinks that I can’t continue, then that’s on him. That’s his job, that’s what he went to school for that’s what he’s being paid for. I’m paying [my corner] to help me win fights. I don’t need them constantly in the back of their head worrying about how much damage I’m taking. That’s not their job, they are paid to help me win fights, that’s it.”

It took about a round and a half of beatings from Teixeira before referee Jason Herzog intervened to stopped the fight at the 1:04 mark of round five. Apart from losing two of his teeth, Smith left the VyStar Memorial Arena that night with a cut below his right eye, a broken nose, and a broken orbital bone.