Glover Teixeira explains why he apologized to Anthony Smith mid-fight

Glover Teixeira, UFC Vancouver

UFC light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira explained why he apologized to Anthony Smith mid-fight at UFC Jacksonville—an exchange that caught the ears of viewers and quickly went viral on social media.

The 40-year-old Brazilian Teixeira absolutely pulverized Smith for nearly five rounds in one of the most lopsided beatdowns in recent memory. The referee and corner of Smith refused to stop the fight until late in the fifth round despite Smith admitting after the fourth round that he had lost two of his teeth during the match. The refusal to stop the fight after Smith said he lost his teeth led to fans and media criticizing the ref for not calling a TKO sooner and Smith’s coach Marc Montoya for not throwing in the towel.

During the fourth round, there was a rare verbal exchange between Teixeira and Smith on the ground, which fans watching could hear through their televisions because of the lack of fans in the venue. After the event, Teixeira admitted that he apologized to Smith mid-fight for knocking his teeth out of his mouth.

“I know his face was hurt because I was hitting him — my hand is hurting right now from hitting him. I know his face was hurt and like I said, he gave his tooth to the referee. He told the referee ‘here’s my tooth,’ and I apologized to him saying, ‘Hey man, I’m sorry, but it’s part of the job,'” Teixeira said (via MMAjunkie.com).

“It is what it is, man,” Smith said in return.

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1260803872026537987

It was a classy thing to say by Teixeira, one of the most accomplished fighters in the UFC light heavyweight division. Despite the job of MMA fighters being to hurt their opponents so bad they can’t continue, it’s still a sport, and respect is a big part of it. Clearly, as you can tell from this exchange, there’s a lot of respect between these two.

Who should Glover Teixeira fight next after smashing Anthony Smith?