With his fight opposite Alexander Gustafsson fast approaching, Anthony Smith finds himself embroiled in a conflict with another UFC Light Heavyweight.
Months removed from falling short in his title challenge against Jon Jones, Anthony Smith is now just a week away from another major fight. Taking on Gustafsson in his home country of Sweden, Smith has an opportunity to regain his contender status. However, it’s Luke Rockhold that has captured Smith’s personal attention.
‘Lionheart’ told MMA Junkie that Rockhold has been “genuinely attacking him” before warning the former champion that “you’ve got to answer for that. Don’t act like we’re going to be in public places and we’re going to get along. That’s not going to happen.”
“If you want to talk your way into a fight, that’s fine,” he clarified. “There’s ways of going about it. You don’t have to convince me. I’m not the guy that you’ve got to goad into a fight. All you’ve got to do is ask. Want to fight? Sure. Yeah. Let’s do it. That’s as far as you’ve got to go . . . I just don’t get what his beef is, and now, he just keeps going with it.”
Rockhold once famously dismissed Smith as a bum and most recently, even insinuated that he was being ducked by the 205 pound title challenger. His foe refutes this though, firing back with an explanation as to why he didn't take time off after all. “I’m not a pretty boy like him. Nobody wants to take pictures with me in the club. I’ve got to work for a living, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m working. I’m not out here trash talking people for no reason.
“That’s why nobody likes him. Nobody in the UFC likes him. None of the staff likes him. None of the executives like him. None of the fighters like him. So he can sit pretty and eat his meals on TMZ and talk all the (expletive) all he wants. But at the end of the day, no one likes you, and sometimes that’s what matters most. It’s about how you treat people and if people respect you.”
Rockhold next fights on July 6th at UFC 239, taking on Jan Blachowicz in his long-awaited Light Heavyweight debut. Frankly though, upcoming results may prove irrelevant in this particular conflict, with a fight between the two appearing likely regardless.