Although Anthony Smith has said he wants to go out on his shield in fights, and doesn’t blame his cornermen or officials for the beating he took at UFC Jacksonville, the bout’s ref has admitted he should have intervened sooner.

Referee Jason Herzog vows to “get better”

Smith faced Glover Teixeira in the May 13th card’s headliner, and early on, it looked like the former middleweight had a good chance of winning the fight. But, as the bout wore on, Teixeira punished Smith with punishing punches, and in round four, he had “Lionheart” in all kinds of trouble.

Although Smith was visibly battered and hurt, the fight continued in round five. Teixeira proceeded to hammer away at Smith with multiple more shots, before the bout was finally stopped. Afterward, it as revealed that Smith had incurred a broken orbital bone, nose and teeth.

Well, Smith defended his corner’s decision to allow him to keep fighting, and he also said he had no issues with Herzog.

But, more recently, the veteran and respected referee, shared out this statement.

“This sport of MMA is beautiful, it’s pure,” Herzog wrote. “And an incredible teacher. Some lessons are more harsh than others. I’ve seen a lot of opinions about what should have (happened), who was at fault.

“But let me be clear, there is only one person to blame. Me.

“I am responsible for each fighter I am entrusted to oversee. I will take this experience, make the necessary changes, and get better.”


This is a classy and admirable move by Herzog: admitting he should have stopped the fight sooner. While many fighters only want a fight stopped if they tap or go out, it did seem clear that Smith was badly hurt and that a comeback win wasn’t in the cards.

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