Anthony Smith has seen a quick succession in the UFC light heavyweight division. His stark rise was met by criticism of some of his counterparts as well. Among them were notable names such as Corey Anderson and Luke Rockhold.
Ever since Rockhold moved up to 205 pounds, he had developed a bad blood rivalry with Anthony Smith. While they didn’t meet inside the Octagon, Rockhold’s fall at the hands of Jan Blachowicz did prove to be a moral victory for Smith. And hence he has now turned his attention towards Corey Anderson.
“Lionheart” broke down the current scenario of the 205 pound weight class in an interview with Submission Radio. He went on to conclude that he and Corey Anderson are most likely to fight in the Octagon next.
“As far as getting back to Jon and who I’m gonna fight, I think there’s me, Jan [Blachowicz], Corey Anderson, and Dominick Reyes,” Smith said. “One of them is gonna fight Jon, so I would take myself out of that. It probably won’t be me. So, when it comes down to Jan, Corey or Reyes, one of them is gonna fight Jon, one of them is gonna fight me when I come back, and the other one is gonna sit and either fight someone lower down or wait. So, I’ll fight one of those three guys, likely Corey Anderson. Wouldn’t mind knocking him out either.”
Anderson and Smith’s beef go back in time. It began when the former questioned the validity of Smith’s title shot against Jones. While the Texas native has had a smaller resume to boast of at the light heavyweight division, he still has more knockouts to his name than the veteran in Corey. As a result of the same, Smith thinks Corey is jealous of him.
“He’s just mad. He’s just always talking sh*t,” Smith said. “Maybe he’s like trying to take a page out of Luke Rockhold’s book. I haven’t done anything to Corey expect for clean up his f*cking mess.
“They offered me a fight with Corey Anderson in Lincoln, Nebraska. He turned it down because he wasn’t ready. Then not long after that, I took a fight with Shogun, who they offered to him first and he turned it down, so then I took it because he wouldn’t. Then Glover Teixeira needed an opponent like a week later, and he takes that fight. So, he turns down me, he turns down Shogun, and then takes Glover because that’s a fight that in his head he feels he can win. He won’t take a fight with anybody that he’s not 100 percent sure he can beat. So, he goes in against a guy who’s known to be taken down and held there, and wins the fight and wants to talk sh*t like he’s the best in the world.
“Alright, fine. Whatever, not a big deal. Then I didn’t hear anything from Corey. Because we’re in the god damn locker room and he’s feeling really god damn stupid because he knows that I know all that stuff, so he won’t even look at me. So, then they offer him the Gus fight after I fight Jon Jones, and he won’t take it. So, then I take it, and he tries to go back and say, ‘No, no, no, no, I’ll take it now, I’ll take it now’. I was like, it’s too late, I already signed it, you idiot. Here I am cleaning up your god damn mess again. Like, fine. So, from now on I hope they offer Corey Anderson the title shot, because it means I’ll probably end up with it.”
Despite being in the limelight, “Lionheart” can always argue that he has never started or wanted any of it. And in all honesty he wouldn’t be wrong. Smith’s knockout streak of veterans made him grab a lot of attention. His fast paced fighting style has also earned him a place in the good books of his fans. Consequently, he thinks people like Anderson, who rely heavily on wrestling, doesn’t excite the crowd as much. This is enhanced by the fact that Anderson picks up his fights against fighters who he is sure of defeating.
“Again, it’s another dude that I’ve never done anything to,” Smith said. “Like, he’s just mad because you’ve been in the division for how many years, and haven’t even sniffed a title shot, and then guys like me and Thiago and have three fights and get one. There’s a reason. It’s not because we sell anymore tickets than you, it’s not because we’re ‘better than you’. We just go out there and we put it on the line and we take fights when they’re offered.
“Like, I’m not saying be a company guy and suck Dana’s d*ck or anything, but be a god damn fighter. And if you have a style that’s kind of dependent on winning decisions, then just count on winning a hell lot more of them, cause that’s just how the game goes. No one wants to watch you f*cking dry hump someone’s leg for 15 minutes, unless they’re a big Jiu Jitsu fan. No one wants to see it. And I’m a Jiu Jitsu guy at heart, so I just don’t know what it is about me that rubs some of these guys the wrong way.”