50-Year-Old Mo Smith Still Going Strong; Plans to Go Out on Own Terms


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit
Ray Sefo and Maurice Smith

Ray Sefo and Maurice Smith

At 50 years old, former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice “Mo” Smith is still going strong, even if he has been out of the active fight scene for four years.

“I never officially retired at all,” said Smith. “The promoters after one bad fight or two bad fights just cut you off sometimes. I don’t have any answer for that other than maybe because I had bad fights against (Hidehiko) Yoshida and ‘Babalu’ (Renato Sobral).

“For me, I can say it’s not me 100-percent; (the desire to fight) has always been there and will always be there, so it’s nothing on my end… I just don’t have any control over what promoters do.”

Smith told MMAWeekly.com, that sometimes more than just wisdom comes with age.

“Age is probably more to my advantage in some ways,” he said. “People may think I’m an old man, but the way I move and when I’m on my game, you won’t think I was this old or whatnot. It’s just a number for the public perception. After I prove myself and show myself, people may think, ‘he’s old, but he’s a bad dude.’ So it’s just a number.

“The thing is, this is what we know; we’re fighters, this is what we do. If you stay on your game, you can go until you’re tired. You don’t win because you’re young or lose because you’re old; you win or lose because of the guy in front of you and based on what happens (in the fight).”

Smith will return to fighting for the first time since 2008 when he makes his debut at light heavyweight to square off against Kyle Keeney at Resurrection FA 2 on March 30 in Kearney, Neb.

“I’m not a true heavyweight like these guys are now,” said Smith. “They’re 270 pounds, 280 pounds and are cutting down to 260 or whatever, and I’m coming in at 220. It’s hard to fight the guys now who are true heavyweights when you give up 30 pounds or 40 pounds, (as opposed to) giving up 10 pounds or 5 pounds and fighting guys who are a lot smaller.”

Not only has Smith decided to change weight classes, he’s left his home base of Seattle and begun training in Las Vegas with the likes of Tyler Perry, ‘One-Kick Nick’ Blomgren, and Sergio Penha.

“Every fight is important, but this is important (for my career right now), so getting away from home to focus on fighting instead of focusing on bills and kids or whatever is good,” said Smith. “The first few weeks was hell because I wasn’t seeing the results I had in Seattle, and it was kind of frustrating at first, but now it’s coming along and getting better because I’ve had time to progress.”

Even though he’s a legend in kickboxing and one of the pioneers of MMA, Smith still remains humble as he looks at his match with Keeney on March 30.

“I’ve fought guys who have greater accomplishments than him, but he could beat me, still,” said Smith. “To me, he’s the same fighter as a Mark Coleman, Marco Ruas, or Randy Couture; he has the ability to beat me with one shot or one submission or whatever. I have to respect him as a fighter regardless, because it’s a hit or miss game, this business.”

Still, Smith knows what he can do in a fight, and doesn’t feel like he can be counted out either.

“If I have my game on – which I’ve improved on in certain areas that I have improved up on a while – it’s going to be very hard to beat me,” he said. “There’s very few guys who can beat me on just pure punching and kicking. Ground-wise, I don’t worry about the ground so much. The only thing I worry about is the wrestling aspect, so that’s what I’m going to focus on a lot.”

After four years off from fighting, Smith is looking to make up for lost time in 2012, take a few fights and put a positive final stamp on his MMA career when he’s ready to call it a day.

“What I would like to accomplish is to go out on my own terms and (be an example to) not let promoters push you out and show that you can also continue (to fight),” he said. “People tell you that you should retire when you’re 40, but you should retire when you don’t feel good, when you don’t have the desire anymore. If you’re staying in shape, staying on your game, then you can compete with a lot of guys.”

view original article >>

Related News

  • 17 days ago
  • 21 views

The UFC reeled in good ratings for "Read, White and Fight Week," as their UFC 175 prelim ratings were up from UFC 174, while the TUF 19 ratings were down from TUF 18 last December. It has been a good weekend for the UFC on television as the promotion pulled relatively strong numbers for their respective broadcasts. According to MMAPayout, last Saturday night's UFC 175 prelims drew 1 million viewers on FOX Sports 1, which is up from last month's PPV event, as the UFC 174 prelims drew 784, 000 vie more

  • 18 days ago
  • 60 views

Ratings were strong across the board for MMA programming this past weekend.The prelims to UFC 175 on Saturday night drew 1 million viewers, the best number for a pay-per-view prelims show so far this year. That wasn't a surprise since UFC 175 was expected to be the year's biggest show so far, and Urijah Faber, who headlined the prelims, was the biggest star to appear this year on the pre-PPV shows on FS 1.The number was slightly ahead of the 936,000 viewers for the prelims of UFC 170 on Feb. 22, more

  • 18 days ago
  • 32 views

The UFC was forced to change plans with Jose Aldo’s injury and the cancellation of UFC 176, and new bouts were added to different cards in August. The UFC 177 pay-per-view card, scheduled for Aug. 30 in Sacramento, Calif., now features a lightweight clash between Danny Castillo and Tony Ferguson and a middleweight bout between Derek Brunson and Lorenz Larkin. Castillo (17-6) enters the 155-pound bout coming off a vicious knockout win over Charlie Brenneman in April, while Ferguson (15-3) looks f more

  • 21 days ago
  • 30 views

Mo' money, mo' problems... TUF 19 Finale: "Edgar vs. Penn 3" from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, has officially wrapped, which means it's time for those select fighters who went above and beyond in their respective fights to get a little extra grease for their efforts. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) dished out its standard post-fight monetary bonuses to three of the 20 fighters on the card, and it's probably no surprise who's heading home with a second sack of simoleo more

  • 21 days ago
  • 24 views

LAS VEGAS – The strong wrestling game of Patrick Walsh neutralized just about any offense Dan Spohn could hope for, at least until late in the fight.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 22 days ago
  • 35 views

Ronda Rousey’s 16-second knockout victory against Alexis Davis at UFC 175 on Saturday piqued the interest of someone in the UFC’s production truck. more

  • 22 days ago
  • 47 views

Mo money, mo problems. UFC 175: "Weidman vs. Machida" from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, has officially wrapped, which means it's time for those select fighters who went above and beyond in their respective fights to get a little extra grease for their efforts. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) dished out its standard post-fight monetary bonuses to four of the 20 fighters on the card, and it's probably no surprise who's heading home with a second sack of simoleons. Errr more

  • 23 days ago
  • 21 views

This week Dave Branch's BJJ class at Edge Hoboken had a special guest, Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith. Smith won two Olympic golds, and four World Championships as a wrestler, but this was his first ever BJJ class. John Smith, the greatest wrestler in the history of the United States of America, recently attended his first Brazilian jiu jitsu class. This past Wednesday (July 2, 2014) the Oklahoma State legend stopped by Edge Hoboken and sat in on a session taught by current World Seri more

  • 27 days ago
  • 56 views

Nick and Nate Diaz appear willing to continue their battle with the UFC over fighter pay as long as it takes after both used social media to make their continued complaints clear. Nick Diaz and brother Nate Diaz are in a very unique situation in the modern mixed martial arts world. Where the UFC has failed in creating compelling, high drawing stars, the Diaz brothers--Nick especially--remain "mainstream attractions." This may be in large part due to antics that some find tasteless or objectionab more