If there were any doubts on if Anthony Smith was one of the best fighters of his division, he certainly cleared it when he landed a clear victory over Alexander Gustafsson via submission, making him one of the few fighters to do that in recent times.
Smith said the following :
“Who else has done it? If you take Phil Davis out of it because that was a long time ago, who else has done it? Jon [Jones], ‘Rumble’ [Anthony Johnson] and D.C. [Daniel Cormier]. That’s a pretty good group of guys to be mentioned with,” Smith told when speaking about his win. “At this point, I don’t know what else I’d have to do to answer any questions of my legitimacy. Honestly I don’t care. I’m just really happy that I’ve inserted myself among the top two guys in the world or three guys in the world if you keep D.C. in there.
“The only way you’re going to take that away is you’ve got to beat me. There’s no more jockeying for position and trying to get the good fights and figuring out who’s next. That s—t is over. Now if you want my spot, you’ve got to take it. Instead of me chasing people, now they’ve got to come to me.”
“It’s the same thing with [Luke] Rockhold, you want to talk all that s—t, now you’ve got to do your job. Now you’ve got to earn it,” Smith said. “I don’t owe you s—t. Now you’ve got to come to me and you’ve got to do something to deserve it. That’s a good position to be in.
“Let Thiago [Santos] and Jon fight, we’ll see how that shakes out. Jan [Blachowicz] and f—k head gotta do their thing and then we’ll see. Johnny Walker’s out there, I think he’s gotta prove himself. I think he’s relatively untested. That’s why it’s good that I’m taking myself out for a little bit. I’m going to be down for a while so let’s see where the division shakes out and we’ll go from there.”
“Corey Anderson’s already on Twitter and Instagram talking s—t. Come on dude, what is wrong with you? Do something to earn it,” Smith said. “I’ve fought five times since you fought once. What are we doing here? At this point, it’s really easy. Do something to deserve it, b—ch. I’m sick of these guys talking s—t.
“You didn’t see me out here trash talking people and trying to talk my way into fights. I put my head down and I grinded and I earned it and I took the fights that no one else wanted and I took them when no one else wanted them.”
“I’m fine taking another fight. I’m not going to be the guy to sit back and wait for the title. That’s not my style. But it’s got to be something that’s going to get me to a title,” Smith explained. “I’m going to fight Luke coming off a loss? Get the f—k out of here, not a chance. That’s not going to happen. Am I going to knock out Corey Anderson and they’re going to give me a title shot? No.
“That’s where the road has to lead. I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me but it has to get me to Jon Jones. That’s my only requirement. I don’t think it’s fair to have me fight someone that doesn’t get me to a title shot. So even if I had to fight two more times, as long as those two fights are on the road to Jon Jones, then I’m good with it.”