UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith has a busy schedule these days. On top of being a husband, father, and third-ranked light heavyweight contender in the UFC, Smith is also a radio host on MMA Tonight on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel, and a desk analyst for ESPN covering the UFC.
In a sport where fighters mainly rely on staying active and consistent inside the Octagon, Smith, who has dealt with a hand injury over the last few months has been able to get more work in with his broadcasting duties. In addition to his work on the ESPN desk and Sirius XM hosting gigs, Smith is scheduled to face Glover Teixeira at UFC Lincoln on April 25, although the status of the event is currently up in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, how did Anthony Smith get a career in broadcasting while being an active UFC fighter? Smite credits former fighter-turned-broadcaster Dan Hardy as one who helped kickstart his career. During an interview on Inside The Cage for BJPenn.com, Smith explained how a sit-down with Hardy got everything started for him.
“I would credit Dan Hardy with my broadcasting career, 100%. I don’t know if it would’ve happened the way it happened if it wasn’t for Dan Hardy.”-@lionheartasmith discusses how @danhardymma helped him start his broadcasting career
— Mike Pendleton (@MP2310) March 30, 2020
“I kind of fell into it you know? I would credit Dan Hardy with my broadcasting career, 100%. I don’t know if it would’ve happened the way that it happened, if it wasn’t for Dan Hardy. Actually it goes back to the Shogun [Rua] fight, the Shogun fight really changed my entire life. Not only just career wise as far as fighting, but it was the first time I had a conversation with Dan Hardy, it was the first time I had fought in Europe. In the fighter meeting with the broadcasting crew, talent, and producers…I was always a big Dan Hardy fan, I loved his style, I loved the way that he fought, I loved the mohowak and the way he was. As he transitioned into broadcasting, I always liked his mindset and how he thought about fights, and I thought I’d love to sit down and have a conversation with him and talk fights.”
As he prepared for his fight against Shogun Rua, Smith had the opportunity to finally sit down and talk with Hardy and he said that conversation began it all for his broadcasting career.
“We’re sitting in these meetings and the producers are going to be asking questions, the guys that are calling the fights have questions, and honestly those meetings are usually about 10-15 meetings. Dan Hardy and I sat in that meeting, speaking to each other for like a half hour. It wasn’t just about my fight, it was about fights on the same card, fight philosophies in general, and the producers were like ‘what in the hell just happened? Why didn’t we get that on camera?’ So then the next day they hit me up and said ‘Hey we really enjoyed your and Dan Hardy’s chemistry, would you sit down and do a Facebook Live with him for 30 minutes?’ I was like yeah and we did it the next day, and it exploded, man, it was crazy.”
Very fascinating story to hear how Anthony Smith got started into broadcasting and how Dan Hardy played a big role in getting things started for “Lionheart” as an analyst.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/30/2020