Anthony Smith revealed he will retire once the possibility of winning UFC gold is gone.
Smith, a former UFC light heavyweight title challenger, has reached a crossroads in his fighting career. The 35-year-old is riding a two-fight losing streak after suffering defeats against top-tier 205-pounders Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker.
‘Lionheart,’ the number eight-ranked UFC light heavyweight, now needs a win to keep his championship aspirations alive.
On Saturday, August 26, Smith returns to action in the co-main event of UFC Singapore. During his media day interview, ‘Lionheart’ discussed how he wants to continue fighting because of his dream to become a UFC champion. He had this to say:
“The whole reason I’m still here and still in this journey is the title. The second that I think that I can’t win it or maybe that it’s too far out of reach, then I’ll be done doing this.”
Anthony Smith’s upcoming opponent is former foe Ryan Spann, the number ten-ranked UFC light heavyweight. In September 2021, Smith and Spann fought in the main event of UFC Vegas 37, with ‘Lionheart’ securing a first-round submission.
Since then, ‘Superman’ has evolved as a fighter, leading to two wins in his last three fights. He last fought on March 11, losing against Nikita Krylov by a first-round submission.
Anthony Smith plans to prioritize consistency moving forward
Anthony Smith’s professional MMA record of 36-18 can be misleading for uneducated fans. Throughout his UFC tenure, Smith has had several stretches where he’s looked like a future world champion. With that said, he’s also had times where a top-ten ranking looked like his ceiling.
During the UFC Singapore media day, Smith had this to say about seeking consistency in his Octagon appearances:
“I’ve been a bit inconsistent. I think at times I show up, and I think it’s clear I can beat anyone in the world. And sometimes I show up and sh*t the bed. So I’ve just really been working on my consistency. I think that’s what it comes down to, my focus and just trying to bring the best product every time. I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to adjust some of my training and my approaches and some of my recovery stuff. It’s just a learning process.”
Smith’s chances of becoming a UFC champion aren’t the highest. Luckily, he’s not new to beating the odds. Earlier in his career, ‘Lionheart’ endured four consecutive losses on the regional scene, pushing his professional MMA record to 5-6.
The Texas native didn’t stop then, and he doesn’t plan on stopping now before attempting to turn things around. At UFC Singapore, the 35-year-old has an opportunity to get back on track and begin validating his championship aspirations.