Anthony Smith’s Honest Quote About MMA Fans: “You get to a certain level, then they hate you”

By Fernando Quiles - June 18, 2023

UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith keeps it real on how he perceives MMA fans when a fighter’s popularity grows.

Anthony Smith

Smith has certainly seen his stock rise over the years, but as of late, he’s had a rough go. Following an impressive three-fight winning streak, Anthony Smith has dropped two in a row. “Lionheart” was defeated by Magomed Ankalaev via second-round TKO back in July 2022. More recently, Anthony Smith dropped a unanimous decision against Johnny Walker.


Anthony Smith has gotten his share of flak from fans online after his loss against Walker. During an appearance on MMAFighting‘s “The MMA Hour,” he told Ariel Helwani that the “hate” comes with being more noticeable.

“The more popular I get, the more I hate it, to be honest with you,” Smith said.

Anthony Smith on fan support dwindling

For “Lionheart,” the support he got from fans was far more apparent before his stock increased.

“Maybe popular is the wrong word. The more, maybe recognizable? I don’t know. I don’t even know how to state it. It’s just, everyone outside of this whole circus show makes it really miserable for the people inside of it. Maybe I’m one of the few guys that will be honest about that. The fans used to be the thing that drove you. They’d push you through and they would support you. And once you get to a certain level, then they hate you.”

Anthony Smith admitted that it’s hard to shake off negative comments from fans online.

“It sucks. It sucks, because you get s*** on way more the higher up you grow in this sport,” Smith said.

Having dropped two in a row, Anthony Smith will have to cut out the noise and return to form. He has said he believes there is a “glaring hole” in his game that needs to be addressed. That being taking too many leg kicks.


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