Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira may have put on one of the best fights of the year at UFC 275, but light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith knows he didn’t see the best out of either man on Saturday.
Despite a back-and-forth war capped off by Prochazka pulling off an improbable submission to finish Teixeira in the fifth round, Smith saw a lot of deficiencies on display from both fighters which likely allowed the title fight to play out the way that it did.
“To be honest, I think both of those guys had the worst performances of their life at the same time,” Smith said on The MMA Hour. I really do. Glover appeared a bit old for the first time. For the first time in a while, because that’s not the Glover I got. That’s not the one Thiago Santos got. Although I do not know the identity of that man, Prochazka gave one of his worst performances.
“They just made terrible decisions. They made terrible decisions. It was like the fight intelligence. Both of them were just not smart enough .”
Smith was defeated by Teixeira in 2020. This fight saw Teixeira start strong, but then falter before he suffered a TKO in the fifth round.
Teixeira won the UFC’s light heavyweight title by defeating Thiago Santos then Jan Blachowicz.
Judging from the UFC 275, Smith’s action, Teixeira saw a different fighter after taking Prochazka to the floor several times but couldn’t put enough pressure on the Czech native.
“Glover was mounted several times,” Smith said. Smith said, “He had [Prochazka’s] back many times. He had him deep in submissions several times. He lost position. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Glover lose positions like that before. I know the deficit between those two guys in the grappling department is huge.
” I am a high-level [Brazilian jiu-jitsu] Black belt who has submitted many world champions. I grapple at a very f****** high level and I was stuck like f****** Chuck [with Teixeira]. It’s not clear what I did or where my Glover went that got me so stuck. Where was that guy? This isn’t the same man who fought Saturday night .”
Even though Teixeira appeared to suggest that he had been through a difficult weight loss, he did not seem to blame it for the result.
Smith cannot speculate on what happened to Teixeira but was equally stunned at how Prochazka consistently fell short of his potential dominance in certain areas.
” “I believe it could be the culmination of several things,” Smith stated about Teixeira. It could also be due to his age. However, he didn’t fight like an elderly man. It was one-way traffic, if you look back at it. All of us agreed that Jiri was striking, and doing the right thing, Glover is finishing him. It was like they had a train going, and they couldn’t stop beating each other.
” Glover’s defense has been excellent in the last three to four fights. He has been clipped a little bit. He seems to have slowed down a bit in his ability to react, but he is still able and willingly taking the punches. Then he fights Prochazka. It was just the oddest thing. This was the most bizarre thing .”
Obviously, Smith had a lot of issues with how Teixeira and Prochazka performed, but he also praised both of them for gutting through a technically bad performance to still put on a memorable battle for the ages.
” “Before anybody roasts me because I talk s***/talking bad — it’s not my intention to be critical,” Smith stated. “I think that they both fought with bravery. Both of them gave brave performances. I could not praise it enough. However, I am also an analyst so I can analyse their performance and find faults.
” I can tell you from a thrill standpoint that it was fantastic, but the coaches of Os and Xs are unhappy. From an excitement standpoint watching it, it couldn’t have been f****** better, but as far as the technical stuff that went on, it was all bad.”