After losing his second fight in a row at UFC On ABC 4 on Saturday night Anthony Smith has declared that leg kicks have been the biggest reason for many of his losses in recent years.
“There is a glaring hole in my game. And it’s no longer a hole. It’s the leg kicks. It’s become a liability, at this point. It’s not even a hole in my game anymore. It’s a liability,” Smith admitted on the ‘Believe You Me’ podcast he co-hosts with Michael Bisping.
“I’d love to see the numbers and see how many leg kicks I’ve absorbed in my UFC career. It’s got to be in the thousands.”
“At this point, checking them isn’t even good enough. ‘Cause I checked a good number of those kicks. And it’s got to a point where checking didn’t even matter. It hurts worse to check it than take it.
“I think over time, I’ve taken so many that my leg isn’t just taking them as well as it used to. We’ve addressed it over and over. We’ve changed my stance, we’ve changed my movement, we’ve changed the block, we’ve changed the defense. I do it in practice. And for whatever reason, we get into the fights and I can’t do it. I don’t know why.”
It’s something that Walker took full advantage of on his way to a unanimous decision victory on Saturday night, but Smith says that several others have done the same thing to him.
“Andrew Sanchez destroyed my leg with leg kicks. Jon Jones destroyed my leg with leg kicks. Volkan Oezdemir destroyed my leg with leg kicks. Hector Lombard. Even Alexander Gustsafsson, a little bit. Aleksandar Rakic put me down with two. It’s a liability. I can’t take them.
“Johnny Walker had an incredible gameplan. Stay on the outside, stay really composed, don’t engage in the boxing, and pick at his leg until he can’t move. And once you take away my movement, I’m just a sitting duck.”
Despite all the negativity the 34-year-old veteran of over 50 pro-fights has received since his latest loss he did however make it clear that he doesn’t intend to retire and still believes he can bounce back from his latest slump in form.
“It’s probably the most hate that I’ve got, probably ever. It’s the ‘you need to retire, you’re trash, you suck, you don’t belong.’ Whatever. First of all, I’m not retiring. It’s not happening. Not like that, that’s for sure. I’m not going out like that.
“I still have it. There’s some problems that I’ve got to fix, for sure, but it’s definitely not gonna happen like that. It’s not gonna be on a whim.”