Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Ultimate Fighting Championship held its second of three spectatorless events on Wednesday, this in Jacksonville, Florida.
Veteran light heavyweight contenders Glover Teixeira and Anthony Smith fought in the main event, with the Brazilian fighter dominating and eventually prevailing in the fifth round via TKO.
On the penultimate lap Teixeira had made a face at Smith. At one point, Smith passed the teeth on referee Jason Herzog, which the referee put in his pocket. After the round, Smith said on his corner that his teeth were falling out. The fight would continue before Teixeira won at 1:04 the next round.
“I didn’t think his corner would let him out,” said White during the post-fight press conference. “But this is between them and their corner. And then the referee could have stopped him even in the fourth. We sat outside it was a bit difficult to look at.”
Smith suffered “a broken nose, a broken orbital bone, two missing teeth and a cut under the right eye. One front and one back tooth, his real teeth,” according to ESPN.
CNN contacted Smith trainer Marc Montoya but received no response at the time of publication.
‘This is not just a little crazy’
White is deeply aware of the growing control that UFC is undergoing.
He recently told CNN Sport from his Las Vegas headquarters that “everyone is motivated to try to understand this and bring back sports.”
“This isn’t just a little crazy, this 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 long time working on this thing non-stop since it started. We believe we have this thing in a place where it can be as safe as possible.”
As for Wednesday’s fight, Smith didn’t care that he didn’t stop.
“I’m good at decisions made by the referee and from my corner,” Smith told ESPN. “When the referee made it clear that he needed to see something or wanted to stop it, I did what I had to do to stay in the fight. I get out of the battle with my shield or get out of it. This is my Period rule.”
The third UFC event takes place over eight days on Saturday.