In the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Ultimate Fighting Championship held its second of three spectator-free events on Wednesday, this one in Jacksonville, Florida.
Lightweight veteran contenders Glover Teixeira and Anthony Smith faced off in the main event, the dominant Brazilian fighter and ultimately winning in the fifth round via TKO.
In the penultimate round, Teixeira had hit Smith. At one point, Smith handed referee Jason Herzog his teeth, which the referee put in his pocket. After the round, Smith said around his corner that his teeth were falling out. The fight would continue before Teixeira won at 1:04 of the next round.
“I didn’t think his corner would let him out,” said White at the post-fight press conference. “But it’s between them and their corner. And then the referee could have stopped that on the fourth too. We, sitting outside, it was a little difficult to watch.”
Smith suffered “a broken nose, a broken orbital bone, two missing teeth and a cut under the right eye. One tooth in front and one back, his real teeth,” according to ESPN.
CNN contacted Smith’s coach Marc Montoya, but had not received a response at the time of publication.
“He’s not just a fool”
White is fully aware of the increased attention being given to the UFC.
He recently told CNN Sport from its headquarters in Las Vegas that “everyone is motivated to try to understand this thing and bring the sport back.”
“He is not only a madman, it is a well thought out plan,” he continued. “We have had very, very intelligent people, doctors and people who have been involved with the UFC for a very long time working on this thing continuously since it started. We think we have this thing in a place where it can be as safe as possible. “
As for Wednesday’s fight, Smith did not care that he was not arrested.
“I’m good with the referee’s decisions and my corner,” Smith told ESPN. “When the referee clearly indicated that he needed to see something or that he was going to stop it, I did what I had to do to stay in the fight. I come out of the battle with my shield or I’m going out on it. It’s my rule. Period. “
The third UFC event in eight days takes place on Saturday.