With the future of UFC events in April up in the air due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, fighters are awaiting word on what’s next. While Dana White’s attention has been focused on making UFC 249 the best possible event they can make it, there other fighters awaiting word on their events. One of those fighters, Anthony Smith, is scheduled to face Glover Teixiera in the main event of UFC Lincoln on April 25.
In an exclusive interview with BJPenn.com, Smith discussed the uncertainty surrounding his fight and explains why he as a fighter, needs to keep fighting despite the pandemic. As far as the status of his fight happening in his hometown Lincoln, Nebraska, Smith says the situation is up in the air right now.
“I think the venue and location are up in the air right now. It sucks, I really wanted to fight in Lincoln. But is it really fighting in Lincoln if the fans aren’t involved?-@lionheartasmith updates his UFC Lincoln main event
— Mike Pendleton (@MP2310) March 26, 2020
“You know it’s kind of up in the air right now. It’s up in the air, man, I don’t know what’s going to happen. Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] assured me 100% that I would be fighting, I think the location and venue and stuff like that, I think that’s kind of up in the air right now, and I think they’re in the process of figuring that out. It sucks, I really wanted to fight in Lincoln, I really want to.
COVID-19 has affected many in the everyday world and in the combat sports world, and Anthony Smith believes if fans aren’t able to attend the event in Lincoln, it takes away from the special moment he was hoping for, but realizes his situation isn’t as bad as others during the pandemic.
“But, is it really fighting in Lincoln if the fans aren’t involved? That’s kind of the whole idea of fighting there. This whole Coronavirus pandemic, it’s just been tough on everybody and I’m not going to sit here and cry and complain about it, because I think I’m in a better position than a lot of people are in America and worldwide. I don’t want to sound like poor, poor, pitiful me, but I fought my entire career to get to a point where I can headline an event in my home state and I finally do it and then it’s gonna get taken out by the damn Coronavirus. I’m not saying my situation is worse than anybody else’s but it definitely hit me pretty hard here at home.
If they can, the UFC and Dana White would like to resume fights sooner than later beginning with UFC 249 on April 18 and when Smith was asked if he’s optimistic that his still take place in Nebraska, he had he still has some hope left.
“A little bit, a little bit, I think if the state and commission will allow it, they can do it under a real special circumstance with limited production crew, maybe shorten the corner group, and keep it up to 8 people in a room and a locker room. There’s ways we can do it, it just depends what the state and the commission say.”
Anthony Smith is just weeks away from being able to live out a career dream of fighting at home, but those plans may be derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as far as the scheduled fight goes, “Lionheart” is still in full preparation mode for it.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/26/2020