Anthony Smith recently took some shots at Rockhold during the UFC Seasonal Press Conference, but Rockhold says it is Smith who is avoiding the fight against him.
“The truth hurts,” Rockhold said to TMZ Sports (via Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “I don’t know. Some people just can’t take the truth and that’s a problem, I always tell it. He can keep talking, keep running his mouth, but he had his opportunity. He could have manned up instead of being a b*tch and being an errand boy for the UFC. There’s balls to take fights and there’s balls to not take fights. I saw his interview and he obviously didn’t want to take this fight [with Gustafsson]. He wanted to take some time off. He could’ve done that. Could’ve stuck to your word because I would have been right here. First thing I asked the UFC after that fight, make this thing happen. Then he b*tched out and ran their errands and went out to Stockholm.”
Smith did not reveal why he was angry at Rockhold when blasting the fighter during the press conference, but did say that Rockhold would be dealt with in the future.
Rockhold says that Smith was his first option when the fighter decided to move up a weight class to light heavyweight.
“He was the first option, for sure,” Rockhold said. “It would’ve been fun. Put him away like Jon couldn’t and it would’ve been great. The kid runs his mouth, he gets all bent out of shape like a rookie. Truth hurts, baby. Truth hurts! He better focus on the fight coming up because my opinion is, he’s about to get his ass kicked. So go out there, go take your ass-whooping and come talk to me afterwards.”
UFC 239 takes place on Saturday, July 6 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Jon Jones and Thiago Santos headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.