Anthony Smith Plans To ‘Set Octagon On Fire’ Against Magomed Ankalaev

Smith takes on Ankalaev in a pivotal light heavyweight encounter on the UFC 277 main card this weekend.

Photos via Instagram @lionheartsmith

It’s fair to say Anthony Smith is ready for a war.

Smith takes on Magomed Ankalaev in a pivotal light heavyweight encounter on the main card of UFC 277 this upcoming weekend.

It’s pivotal because as per Smith, the winner could potentially get the next shot at the 205-pound crown.

Smith is on a three-fight winning streak. However, he is a big underdog against Ankalaev, who is not only on an eight-fight winning streak, but regarded by many as a future light heavyweight champion.

Not that Smith cares too much. “Lionheart” is ready to deliver a performance for the ages as he plans on setting the Octagon on fire against the Dagestan native.

“I don’t think I’m pulling the curtain here, I think we all know what’s going to happen when that bell rings — it’s going to be f*cking chaos,” Smith told Michael Bisping. “Just getting myself physically prepared for it has been the toughest part. Typically, I’m trying to be the clean, tactical technician. I’m trying to sharpen that sword, we’ve got all these plans and just trying to stick to the game plan and I’m not doing that this fight. … I don’t know man, I just prepared myself for a f*cking battle. 

“I’ve said this over and over and over again — I’m going to set that f*cking Octagon on fire and I’m not going to be the first one to step out of it. So mentally and physically, I have to prepare myself for that so it’s been real tough.”

Anthony Smith: No Guy Can Beat Me In A 15-Minute Fight

Part of the reason Smith plans on not following any particular game plan is the fact that he believes Ankalaev is a different type of opponent.

Rather than specializing in one specific area of MMA, Ankalaev is proficient in pretty much every area, and is not afraid to keep the fight standing throughout either.

That is why Smith is getting all his weapons ready for what he anticipates to be a 15-minute battle.

And as far as he is concerned, no fighter right now can beat him in a three-round fight.

“Certain fights, you have to bring certain tools to the fight,” Smith explained. “… I’m not fighting Glover Teixeira where we have to be really careful about this one technique that he does really well or Jon Jones was different, there’s a couple things you got to worry about, Alexander Gustafsson, you got the uppercut, the movement.

“Ankalaev is not that type of a fighter. He’s very well-rounded but there’s not one thing that really stands out so I needed to completely across the board, make sure that all my weapons were sharp but really just make sure I’m stronger, my conditioning is better, that I can push hard for 15 minutes. Maybe it’s because it’s fight week and I’m f*cking crazy confident and I’m feeling really good, but I don’t think there’s a guy in the division that can beat me in a 15-minute fight.”

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