Think UFC’s light heavyweight division is steep? Well, think again!
We have a new contender as Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith obliterated Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua via a vicious KO in the first round. Coming of a knockout of another legend in Rashad Evans, Smith wanted to add Alexander Gustafsson’s name to that list as well. Gustafsson who was scheduled to fight at UFC 226 needed an opponent.
However just after a while, Gustafsson’s manager Nima Safapour revealed that Gustafsson is out of his UFC 227 fight due to a ‘minor injury’. Just the timing, makes Smith feel a little suspicious as he addressed the withdrawal in the post-fight conference.
“That’s ironic, isn’t it?” Smith told reporters. “That’s kind of weird how that works out. He needed an opponent yesterday. What happened between then and now? I don’t know. That’s mighty ironic. I think that I’m a hard guy to train for; I really do. I show up with a different product every time I fight.”
With the Gustafsson fight out of the equation, Smith feels free for other options. One of them being in the attendance tonight, the #6 ranked Jimi ‘Poster Boy’ Manuwa.
“I’ve seen Jimi Manuwa out there – Jimi’s a great fighter,” Smith said. “He’s a hell of a striker, he’s powerful, and he’s ranked. He’s ranked pretty high in the division. I’m not 100 percent sure. I’ll let the UFC and my management figure that out. If it’s not Gustafsson, then I don’t know.”
Smith also mentioned his desire to fight on the Denver card in November as he fights out of Colorado.