Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping recently went in hard on light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith for accepting a short notice bout against Khalil Rountree at UFC Vegas 83 and then getting badly knocked out.
The bout came on less than two weeks notice. Bisping argued on his podcast that Smith made a mistake taking such a dangerous bout without a full camp.
“I’m sure he thinks about that one sometimes, like the things that he learned and how he could do it differently,” Bisping said on Believe you me podcast. “You can’t just walk through [Rountree’s] fire and bring hell on the other side.”
Bisping suggested Smith was reckless for not respecting Khalil’s skills and power. “It’s hard to gameplan against somebody like that. Somebody like yourself,” Bisping said, implying Smith lacked strategy.
So nice of him🤣 pic.twitter.com/nIhQW32lil
— FightGIF (@TheFightGIF) December 10, 2023
The fight ended with Smith getting knocked out by Rountree in the third round. Adding insult to injury, Smith’s awkward motion as he got KO’d instantly became a viral meme across social media.
Bisping piled on, mocking Smith for becoming an internet joke. “There’s always a little dig in there, a little ‘oh he’s great, but you know what? This guy was old or this was that or that was the other’,” Bisping said.
The criticism by Bisping stung, as he was never one to shy away from taking short notice bouts himself during his UFC career. But he felt Smith should have known better than to take such a risky fight off a quick turnaround.
Smith has yet to respond to Bisping’s harsh comments. But there is clearly no love lost between the two competitors. This back and forth may lead to increased tensions whenever the path of Bisping and Smith cross again.