Anthony Smith calls UFC fans ‘stupid’ over relentless criticism of his takes and career

By Curtis Calhoun - May 1, 2024

Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith’s relationship with fans has become fractured in recent years.

Anthony Smith

Smith will face Vitor Petrino at UFC 301 this Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. He returns looking to snap a recent skid of losses in three of his last four fights, including a knockout loss to Khalil Rountree in December.

In addition to his fighting career, Smith has grown as a UFC analyst for ESPN’s programming. He also hosts a popular podcast with UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping, where he often shares his takes on various fight-related topics.

Some of Smith’s positions have riled up a vocal group of UFC fans. Smith has hinted that UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira has a limited skillset despite his prowess inside the Octagon.

Smith is tired of the relentless criticism from fans and took them to task ahead of his fighting return.

Anthony Smith slams UFC fanbase for online criticism

During his UFC 301 media day, Smith explained why he feels criticism of his views isn’t warranted.

“Some of it is the position I put myself in as an analyst. Fans are stupid, they are,” Smith exclaimed. “[The media] writes an article, and they don’t read the article, they just read the headline and just make up the rest in their head. If they actually read it, almost everything I say makes a lot of sense. Every once in a while, maybe I’ll have some crazy takes, but it’s not that often…

“Me and my friends play a game: what kind of crazy s*** can I say, to see what the fans will say? They can’t separate me as an analyst from me as an athlete. So when I’m talking about someone as an analyst, I don’t put myself into that. I can talk about Alex Pereira all I want. I wouldn’t talk about how it’d be with me, I’m even saying I’m better than he is…but as soon as I say it, since I’m still competing, they have a problem with it. I’ve just gotten to the point where I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter…the fighters know that I’m speaking the truth. You don’t see anyone coming up to me in hallways to fight about it, they know I’m right!”

Smith still believes he can compete with the best in the UFC light heavyweight division despite some of his recent struggles. He’s looking to get back in the win column for the first time since defeating Ryan Spann in August.

At this point in his career, Smith isn’t looking to appease the UFC fanbase, and he isn’t budging from some of his more controversial takes on MMA. A victory at UFC 301 could do the trick when it comes to silencing some of his most vocal detractors.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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