Anthony Smith says his coaches have always needed to follow a strict rule: Don't throw in the towel.
The UFC light heavyweight contender fell short to Glover Teixeira via fifth-round TKO last week in Jacksonville. Teixeira was dominant in the second half of the fight, and many observers thought referee Jason Herzog or Smith's corner should've stepped in sooner.
"Before any of this ever happened, before any of this shit, I took that option away a long time ago," Smith told ESPN's Ariel Helwani. "If you want to sit in my corner, that's my rule. You don't stop the fight. Leave it in my hands. Don't take it out of my hands. I've told them before, 'If you stop the fight, if you throw the towel in, you can go ahead and walk back to the locker room by yourself, because I'll never stand by you again.'"
Smith said he prefers that those in his corner don't have the power to stop his fights because that's not their role.
"There's a lot of other people that that's on - and that's the referee and the doctor," Smith said. "There's a reason those people have a job. That's their job. If (the referee) thought that it needed to be stopped, then that's on him. If the doctor thinks that I can't continue, then that's on him.
"I'm paying (my corner) to help me win fights," he continued. "I don't need them constantly in the back of their head worrying about how much damage I'm taking."
Smith started the Teixeira bout strong, landing strikes at a high rate. But "Lionheart" quickly tired out, and after getting rocked in the third round, it seemed like just a matter of time before the Brazilian veteran earned a finish.
"The way that I fight, I end up in shitty spots sometimes," Smith said. "And that's just how it goes. Most of the time, I've been able to come back and win. And sometimes, you can't. Sometimes you just run out of time, and sometimes it's just too high of a hill to climb.
"But I don't need those liabilities (in my corner). I don't need to be getting to bad spots, working my ass off to try to get to a better position, and constantly have in the back of my head worry that my corner's gonna step in and not give me the opportunity."