Exclusive: Anthony Smith Says His Bout With Ankalaev Is For Top Contender, Conor McGregor Should Fight Dan Hooker

"Lionheart" believes the winner of his fight with Magomed Ankalaev will get the next title shot

Anthony Smith, Conor McGregor, Magomed Ankalaev
Credit: Anthony Smith, Conor McGregor, Magomed Ankalaev (via Instagram)
  • Anthony Smith believes his fight with Magomed Ankalaev will determine the next top contender
  • Smith backed Dan Hooker to be the next opponent for Conor McGregor
  • He believes Kamaru Usman has reached the final stages of his career

Anthony Smith believes his fight with Magomed Ankalaev is a top contender contest

In an exclusive interview with Middle Easy reporter James Lynch, Anthony Smith talked about his upcoming bout with Ankalaev. When asked to share his thoughts on the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka wanting to get a rematch with Glover Teixeira next, Smith shared that his next fight would be a top contender contest.

“Well I don’t know about you but I don’t think Jiri makes those decisions. I think they would’ve made that already if that’s what they were going to do without waiting to see what happens.

“I think they’re waiting on Ankalaev and myself. If we stick it up, they’ll probably book the rematch. If we go out, I do what I’m expected to do, and Ankalaev does what he’s expected to do, I think the winner of this fight gets a title shot.”

Smith thinks that Conor McGregor should fight Dan Hooker in his return

Smith was asked about who the perfect opponent would be for Conor McGregor’s return. He pointed at the “Hangman” to welcome the Irish superstar back to fighting.

“There’s the Michael Chandler fight, I don’t know how interesting that’s going to be for Conor with the wrestling disadvantage that he likely has going into that fight. I don’t know who they’re likely going to match him.

“I’d like to see him versus Dan Hooker. I think that’s a good stylistic (match-up). I don’t know how much that sells, I don’t know if you really need to even pay attention to the selling part of it for Conor. He kinda sells on his own. I’d really like to see Dan Hooker to be honest.”

Smith believes Kamaru Usman might retire soon

“Lionheart” thinks that Kamaru Usman may be planning to retire soon.

“I don’t suspect we’re going to see Kamaru Usman around for a long time, like for a lot longer time I guess is what I’m getting at.

“I see Usman winning a couple more fights and doing all he wants to do and sailing off into the sunset with a bank account full of money and a lot of time to spend with his daughter.”

Anthony Smith will take on Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 277 on July 30.

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