One-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith apologized to fans after his knockout loss to Khalil Rountree Jr. at UFC Vegas 83.
Smith was flattened by a left hand from Rountree early in the third round of the ESPN+ event. If not for Rountree’s restraint, Smith may have taken extra damage after teetering to the canvas 56 seconds into the final frame.
Smith, 35, refrained from making any definitive statements about his career, which takes another correction after a second win over Ryan Spann in his previous outing.
“Congrats to Khalil and his team,” Smith wrote on Instagram. “Helluva performance. You deserve it. Sorry to everyone who supports me. I gave it my all. Sometimes that’s not enough.”
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A regular UFC analyst in addition to his fighting career, Smith took the fight against Rountree on short notice after Rountree’s original opponent, Azamat Murzakanov, fell ill and was forced to withdraw from the card.
Rountree used his post-fight speech to call out light heavyweight champ Alex Pereira. It was his fifth straight octagon win after a 1-3 stretch deflated hopes of his title-worthiness.