Luke Rockhold and Anthony Smith have never squared off inside the Octagon. But that hasn’t stopped their feud from escalating to new levels.
Rockhold appeared on the The MMA Hour and gave his thoughts upon Smith’s latest verbal spat on him. During the UFC’s press conference last month the former title contender called Rockhold a ‘f—king piece of sh-t’ and said that he would drill a hole in his head.
The former middleweight champ however isn’t really bothered by Smith’s comments. He was actually laughing about the same while his appearance on the show.
“It’s pretty funny,” Rockhold said when asked about Smith’s words recently on The MMA Hour. “I didn’t really realize I was still in his head that bad, so I don’t know. Maybe the guy’s just, like I said before, he’s scared of the truth. I don’t know what I did to exactly provoke all of that, but … I just talk the truth too much, what can I say.”
The beef between both the Strikeforce veterans started last year when Rockhold said that he wasn’t too impressed with Anthony Smith and called him a sloppy fighter and that he would beat him easily. Rockhold said that in an interview to Submission Radio last December. At that time, Rockhold had just announced his move up to 205 pounds. Using Anthony Smith’s quick succession to the title as a reference, Rockhold said that the road to a title was easier at 205 pounds compared to 185 pounds.
His comments sparked off response from Smith. However, Rockhold seemed indifferent towards “Lionheart’s” comment.
“It’s just me coming into this division, I wanted a fight, he seemed like a logical opponent,” Rockhold said. “And then they trot him up and Jon picked him off as an easy fight. So [Jones] basically made the UFC take it, and I just didn’t think much of the matchup, and obviously I don’t think the rest of the world thought much of the matchup once it happened.
“I got a problem telling the truth, so I don’t think much of him,” added Rockhold. “I don’t think he’s a credible character in the division, really. He’s about to get shut down. He’s about to get it from Alexander Gustafsson. He’s going to get beat up bad, back-and-back, and be put in his place, just like I said.”
Both Rockhold and Smith have fights lined ahead for themselves. While Smith will face former fellow title contender Alexander Gustafsson, Rockhold will meet perrenial light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz in his 205 pound debut.
If both the fighters win their respective bouts, then a scrap off between the two may seem inevitable. However, any one of them losing will swing the pendulum in the wrong direction.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense after he gets his ass beat by Gustafsson, so I’m going to focus on what’s ahead and what’s in the moment,” Rockhold said. “I’m going to go handle business and I’m going to look ahead. I never really look behind. … If he gets past Gustafsson, if he defies expectations, then that’s a fight I will definitely entertain.”