Anthony Smith has now answered Conor McGregor in their ongoing war of words after the former two-division champion dropped out of the UFC’s anti-doping program while recovering from a broken leg.
The situation boiled over after Smith took exception to McGregor removing himself from the United States Anti-Doping Agency testing pool, which means he has no oversight whatsoever when it comes to the substances he’s putting in his body right now.
While McGregor will have to undergo six months of testing after declaring his intention to return to action, Smith reasoned that dropping out in the first place hinted at the Irish superstar using performance-enhancing drugs because he was looking “jacked as s***” in photos and videos posted on social media.
McGregor retorted at Smith, calling him an “embarrassment” and saying to him that he “keeps my name out your f ****** mouth
Smith replied that McGregor didn’t seem to get as animated but that his whole issue wasn’t meant to be a criticism of McGregor, but that McGregor operates within a different set rules than other athletes in the UFC.
“He proved my point with this freakout,” Smith stated on the Believe You Me podcast. “He said he had to do it because he wasn’t healing correctly, and the break was so bad that the percentages were really low. It’s not something I question, it is what I understand. I would be open to legal help if there is something that could heal me. It would be a much faster way to heal.
“But it is not his reasoning I am questioning. It bugs me that guys such as Anderson [Silva],, Chris Weidman and myself have had a lot of serious injuries. We didn’t have any way to get out of the USADA pool and heal ourselves, then return with no consequences. This was my issue .”
To be precise, Anderson Silva was not subject to USADA testing when he injured his leg in 2013. The UFC had yet to start the anti-doping program. However, Weidman continued to participate in the USADA testing while he recovered from the injury to his left leg.
Smith insisted that McGregor was not a cheater, but rather took exception at McGregor’s ability to leave the UFC anti-doping program because of his inactivity and rules as they were.
“You said, ‘Technically, he’s not breaking any rules.’ That’s because different rules apply to him,” Smith said. “I don’t have that capability. The USADA rules state that you cannot get out of the pool if either you are no longer under a contract with UFC, or you have retired. As far as the rules are written, that’s in their rules.
“Is that the rule? I don’t know. That’s how it seems to be. It would make sense that a lot more fighters could take advantage of this. But also it could be taken advantage of, if that makes sense. They could benefit from the healing properties, but there will be men who want to cheat the system. He did not break any laws. No. There aren’t any rules. He doesn’t have any rules.”
MMA Fighting contacted USADA for clarification about the rules for athletes leaving and reentering the drug pool. However, USADA did not respond to the publication.
Regardless of this rule, Smith thinks McGregor showed his hand in lashing out. This alone leads him to believe that McGregor was on something.
“He was pissed,” Smith said. I called him out and said something. It was seen a lot. Media wrote s ***** headlines. This triggered Conor. Conor is still a fighter, I believe. So, I bet, deep down, I bet he gets it. I bet he understands why that’s bothersome for some people. Is he really going to tell me that? No, never.
” I never said Conor McGregor broke rules. And, I believe that that was an insinuation that he was cheating.”