Anthony Smith admits he has a “glaring hole” in his game following Johnny Walker loss

By Lewis Simpson - May 17, 2023

In the wake of his defeat to Johnny Walker at UFC Charlotte, Anthony Smith has admitted he has a “glaring hole” in his game.

Anthony Smith

On Saturday past, Smith and Walker met at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The light heavyweight contest was scheduled for three rounds after being demoted to the co-headliner, with Jailton Almedia and Jairinzho Rozenstruik taking the main event spot.

The fight saw Walker win a comfortable unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards, with the Brazilian displaying his most measured and mature performance to date. Walker destroyed Smith’s legs within the first several minutes of the opening round and continued to do so throughout the fight. By the third round, Smith was compromised and relied solely on his toughness to make it to the final bell.


Anthony Smith addresses hole in his game

Speaking on the Believe You Me Podcast, Smith was conscious of his inability to defend leg-kicks before the fight with Walker and now feels it’s a “liability” rather than a minor issue.

“There is a glaring hole in my game,” Smith told Michael Bisping, who questioned what the hole was.

“It’s the leg kicks; It’s the leg kicks; it’s become a liability at this point. It’s not even a hole in my game anymore; it’s a liability. I’d love to see the numbers and see how many leg kicks I have absorbed in my UFC career. It’s got to be in the thousands, and at this point, checking them isn’t even good enough. I checked a good number of those kicks, and it got to the point where the checking didn’t even matter; it hurt worst to check it than to just lift it and take it.”

Smith disclosed he’d tried numerous things in camp to overcome the problem, like changing his stance, movement, block, and overall defence, but when he gets under the bright lights, his body doesn’t cooperate. Although Smith is potentially giving away a foot-print to beat him for his future opponents, he believes the blueprint is already out there, after names like Andrew Sanchez, Jon Jones, Volkan Ozdemir, Hector Lombard, and Alexander Rakic were all able to find success with the leg kicks.

Retirement talk

Straight after Walker was announced the winner, speculation began as Smith took his gloves off, resulting in many believing he was retiring. Since then, Smith has assured fans he’s not hanging up the gloves yet, especially not like that.

“I’m not quitting. Until someone says it’s unfixable, I’m not f**king giving up, and I’m damn sure not retiring like that.”

Smith explained that he didn’t want to make any rash decisions in the moment to regret it at a later date. The 34-year-old confidently stated when he decides to retire, “everyone will know about it before it happens.”

What do you make of the honesty from Anthony Smith regarding his loss to Johnny Walker? Let us know in the comments!


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