Stephen A. Smith: I’m Not A UFC Expert

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UFC, ESPN, Stephen A. Smith
Image courtesy of ESPN

ESPN’s flagship commentator Stephen A. Smith has often come under fire for his unusual and uninformed takes on the UFC.

Since ESPN became the exclusive broadcast partner of the UFC in 2019, Smith has been regularly making appearances on the network’s MMA broadcasts to discuss the sport. In his short career as an MMA analyst, the 53-year-old has gone as far as saying that Donald Cerrone ‘gave up’ against Conor McGregor at UFC 246, and that he doesn’t like the idea of women competing in MMA.

Most recently, he stirred more controversy when he left out Megan Olivi from his tweet praising the UFC’s current team of broadcasters.

‘I Am Not An Expert’

Colby Covington has been verbally attacking Masvidal for months, but has upped the ante during the past few weeks, going as far as posting a photo with ‘Gamebred’s’ ex-wife.

During the most recent episode of First Take (as transcribed by MMA Junkie), Smith responded to Covington’s consistent claims that Masvidal is merely a ‘journeyman’.

“Listen, I saw Colby ‘Co-vin-ton’ talking a lot of junk about Masvidal after the fight, and obviously he lost to Usman in five rounds, but that brother can fight,” Smith said. “When he talked about Masvidal and his record had 14 losses coming into the fight, I got more respect for Masvidal than he does, but then again I’m not a UFC fighter like he is, so his opinion is more qualified than mine.”

Smith also acknowledged that he isn’t the most knowledgeable person when it comes to MMA.

“Plus, I’m not an expert like idiots out there try to accuse me of pretending that I’m being just because I’m commenting,” Smith admitted. “No, I’m a fan. I’m not an expert on the UFC. I didn’t start watching until a few years ago.”

Jon Jones Is The Pound-For-Pound Number One

Despite revealing that he didn’t start watching the UFC until a few years ago, Smith said he believes that Jon Jones is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, ahead of Kamaru Usman.

“I still think it’s Jon Jones. I still think it’s Jon Jones,” Smith said. “Usman’s a champion that conducts himself like a champion, and so I got nothing but the greatest profound respect for him. But in the end, when I look at Jon ‘Bones’ Jones, there’s a level that I’ve seen Jon ‘Bones’ Jones go to that it may not be Usman’s fault. Maybe it’s the level of competition, maybe I need to see him against Covington again, okay.

“Maybe I need to see him, you know, against the [Israel] Adesanya’s of this world. But right now I’m not gonna give him the pound-for-pound edge over the great Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.”

What do you make of Stephen A. Smith’s comments?

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