Michael Bisping Delivers Brutally Honest Take on Anthony Smith’s Short-Notice Showdown against Khalil Rountree

Michael Bisping gets brutally honest with Anthony Smith

Michael Bisping was brutally honest while looking back on Anthony Smith’s decision to accept a short-notice scrap with rising contender Khalil Rountree.

Smith, who regularly appears alongside the former middleweight world champion on the Believe You Me podcast, stepped up on two weeks’ notice to face Rountree as part of a UFC Fight Night event in December. ‘Lionheart’ was stopped in the third round via TKO.

‘The Count’ couldn’t help but question why Smith would have accepted the bout considering the high risk and low reward.

“I’m happy to hear that you still want to fight, but if you want to fight, you’ve got to be a little more meticulous about it, if you don’t mind me saying,” Bisping said on the latest episode of the podcast. “I’ll be honest: I said it when we watched the fight on the live (broadcast), and I didn’t want to go into it because it’s like I was betraying you or whatever. I hated it. I was on a walk – I think it was Thanksgiving day when I got the message – and I found out you were fighting. I hated it.

“I f*cking hated it. I didn’t understand it. You’re a fighter, 100 percent, and you’ve got balls of steel. You’re like, ‘F*ck it, let’s go. I can do this.’ I think with the trend lately of people stepping up on short notice, Tom Aspinall going out there and doing it, and Volkanovski stepping up. All right, he lost. But it’s been kind of a thing, people stepping up on short notice. You only really do that when there’s something worth risking it for. I did it, but that was a title fight. I didn’t understand it because you gained nothing from that” (h/t MMA Junkie).

Michael Bisping Refuses to take anything away from khalil rountree’s performance

Anthony Smith admitted that his pride is what ultimately pushed him into accepting the fight against one of the division’s most destructive knockout artists.

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With the loss, ‘Lionheart’ has now dropped three of his last four contests, including back-to-back defeats against Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker. He got back into the win column in August by way of a split decision over Ryan Spann, but the setback against Rountree dropped him to the No. 10 spot in the light heavyweight rankings.

“You’ve just got to be more professional with it, as you say, in between camps with your weight and stuff like that leading up to fights and just making the correct choices,” Bisping added. “I would love to see you fight on a full camp against Khalil – and we can’t take away from Khalil’s performance. He did tremendous. But the purpose of a fight camp is not only to get you in shape, it’s to get you mentally ready, as well.”

Do you agree with Michael Bisping’s assessment?

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