Anthony ‘Lion Heart’ Smith is thinking of moving down to middleweight division after getting dominated by Rakic in his last fight.
Anthony Smith has faced devastating back to back defeats at the hands of Aleksandar Rakic in the UFC Vegas 8 main event and fifth-round TKO loss against Glover Teixeira. Anthony Smith after the loss said he could feel the difference between himself and Aleksandar Rakic at UFC on ESPN+ 33 and that has made him considering a change to his weight class at this point in his fighting career.
On the fight night, Anthony Smith simply could not get anything going as Rakic mostly had his way with the former light heavyweight title challenger, and won a unanimous decision by scores of 30-26 and 30-27 twice in their three-round main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Rakic used his kickboxing to push Anthony Smith backward the entire fight and was able to out grapple him in the match. Once the fight went to the ground, Smith just felt the power of Rakic and was helpless on the ground until the rounds were over. Smith gave Rakic credit for the victory while noting that he ultimately felt outpowered and undersized for the majority of the fight.
In the fight, Anthony Smith was essentially held to the mat for the entirety of the fight by Rakic. Despite being of similar size, Rakic was the much stronger fighter based on how he was able to control where the fight took place. This made Smith question himself, does he lose weight and move back to middleweight where he previously campaigned at or does he put on weight and move up to heavyweight?
What’s next for Anthony Smith?
After the fight, while talking to MMA JUNKIE, Anthony Smith spoke about how strong Rakic was compared to himself. He said “I’ve never been one of the guys that’s out here pining and calling for more weight classes, but in these last couple of fights that’s kind of where my brain goes,” Smith said on the UFC on ESPN+ 33 post-fight show. “I’m just too big for 185, and you start getting into these bigger, stronger, taller, longer guys. They’re just so strong. … I think I got some big decisions to make in my career and figure out where we go from here. It’s super frustrating to lose to a guy you feel you can beat.”
Smith said he never felt like he was in serious trouble, but also admitted there wasn’t anything he could do about the grappling, “Well, the first round I kind of stayed in kicking range at the beginning, which was obviously stupid now. He just beat on my lead leg, and then we got into the clinch and grappling exchanges, which I felt OK in, but he was just so strong. He’s so big,” Anthony Smith said. “… He was so tight on top that I couldn’t make any space. I guess just my biggest takeaway is that he’s just so big and so strong.”
Smith had a similar experience in his loss to Glover Teixeira in May, when he was dominated in a rough manner for five rounds. All this has made Smith consider of changing weight classes.” I don’t know. (One hundred and eighty-five pounds) is still really tough,” Anthony Smith said. “It’s a total lifestyle change, and that’s year-round. It’s not like one of those things where I can get into camp and change my diet and cut down. It’s a complete lifestyle change. I guess that’s one of the options. I guess the other option is to take some time off and get bigger. I don’t know. I’ve got some things to decide on.”
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So after two-consecutive losses in such a dominant manner Smith has now thoughts of changing weight classes for better performance.