Anthony Smith doesn’t think Jorge Masvidal did himself any favors in the leadup to UFC 272.
Masvidal, the UFC BMF champ, dropped a lopsided decision loss to former teammate turned rival Colby Covington in the main event, failing to deliver on his promise to send ‘Chaos’ back to the prelims.
Things got personal between Masvidal and Covington before the fight, and Smith believes all the pre-fight drama took its toll on ‘Gamebred’ and played a major role in his defeat.
‘Lionheart’ is empathetic towards Masvidal but says his ‘hate and rage’ for Covington ultimately cost him the fight.
“I could tell all week that there was something off,” Smith told UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping during a recent episode of Believe You Me (h/t MMA News). “But I thought that it was just a big fight, he hates him or whatever. But there was something off all week and I couldn’t put my finger on it. So I didn’t talk about it on the pre-fight show all week long because I couldn’t really figure out what it was.”
“But I figured it out afterward after seeing him fight,” Smith continued. “He talked about being flat, but I think he was so mentally and emotionally exhausted from his absolute hate and rage. That kind of anger and hate, even if you’re holding it in and you’re not letting it come out in your fight style, that’s so much stress. And it’s exhausting, it’s mentally and emotionally exhausting, and that’s always gonna kinda transfer to your fight style and to your own conditioning. I think he hated him too much.”
Masvidal, a two-time UFC title challenger, fell to #7 in the welterweight rankings following the fight but is still considered one of the most entertaining fighters in the division.