“I just had no other choice,” Smith said. “Doing it my way wasn’t working. I was a year old and I was no better at the end of the year than when I started. So that was my only option. I’m one of those guys who’s always done it my way and never gave too much of what people think of me. And honestly, everyone I’m with – the circle I’m surrounded in – they’ve all been very supportive of him, so luckily I didn’t have to deal with too much. But it was a year of trying to suck it off and I was just miserable so I had no choice.
The willingness to ask for help shows the maturity of the 32-year-old father of three, which he admits was not always the case.
“So much has piled up and I just didn’t handle it well, and that’s how I’ve always been, even when I was young,” he said. “I never treated anything. I am the guy who is always doing well, there is never anything wrong, I will take care of it. And finally this cup becomes too full, and it overflows.
COUNTDOWN UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2 | Zhang against Namajunas | Shevchenko vs. Andrade | Hall vs. Weidman | Full episode | Order here
And from the third round of the Teixeira fight, Smith knew things were heading south.
“I lost Glover’s fight and then he just kept on skyrocketing,” he said. “And then I lost the fight to Rakic, and the worst part is that none of these guys are better than me. Are they doing things that are better than me? For sure. But if you look at the first two rounds of Glover’s fight, that’s who I am and it wasn’t even close. And then you lose and you feel so stupid. Rakic’s fight, I watch this guy fight and there’s nothing he does that is awesome to me and then I lose to him. It is a spiral. It’s one thing to sit down and let the dust settle; but putting any kind of work into solving whatever is going on in your head is a different thing.
So he did, and he was happy again. And ready to punch someone in the face. That someone was Devin Clark. It was the kind of fight Smith probably needed, a low-key return to the undercard of the November 28 fight between Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes. But then that main event was scrapped and Smith was soon on his seventh consecutive main event. Low-key was out of the window now, but “Lionheart” didn’t care.