Anthony Smith discloses the loss he suffered just before his UFC debut in 2013.
Anthony Smith overcame Devin Clark in the first round of their main event clash at UFC Fight Night Vegas 15 in round one by submission. "Lionheart" finished Clark with a triangle to seal the victory. Clark can be commended for even making the walk to the Octagon after the passing of his mother-in-law the week before the fight. Clark told reporters on the virtual media day that he hoped his family all grieving together could give him the strength to walk out victorious.
"It’s a super difficult time, but with that being said, my whole family, we’re all in for this fight, including my mother-in-law," Clark said (h/t MMA Junkie). "Before she passed, she gave me her blessing to pretty much go out there and beat up Anthony in the first round and finish him right away. She wanted me to stay and fight, and that’s what I’m doing. I also had my wife’s blessing, and my wife has been so tough through this whole thing and just handling it all on her own. It’s super incredible, and I’m super proud of her. We’re in this together.”
Although Clark didn't come out with the win, he did walk out with Smith's respect, who revealed that he went through a similar ordeal before his UFC debut in Brazil back in 2013. Smith revealed in the post-fight press conference:
“All respect to Devin and his team. My condolences go out to him and his family and I hope they can find some sort of pace somewhere. I really hope Devin doesn’t look at this like," Smith briefly trailed off (h/t Essentially Sports). "I know what it is like to be needed somewhere else and chase your dream and you miss out on it. My best friend died the day before my UFC debut in Brazil, and I still got on the plane."
Smith went on to fight Antônio Braga Neto at the time and similarly, was a victim of a first-round submission loss vis kneebar to the Brazilian. Smith would bounce back and eventually contest for the light heavyweight championship vs Jon Jones at UFC 235.