Anthony Smith Earned Biggest Win Of His Career, But Not Getting The Fight He Asked For
On Sunday (July 22, 2018) rising contender Anthony Smith picks up a massive KO win over Shogun Rua at UFC Fight Night 134 event that went live on Fox Sport 1 from inside Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany. Following his scintillating performance, ‘Lionheart’ called out former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson for August 4’s UFC 227 event, after Gustafsson’s original opponent Volkan Oezdemir pulled out.
Shortly after the call out, news surfaced Gustafsson pulled out of UFC 227 due to undisclosed minor injury.
At the UFC Fight Night 134 post-fight press conference, Smith reacted to the news: (Via MMAFighting)
“That’s ironic, isn’t it?” Smith told reporters. “It’s kinda weird how that works out. He needed an opponent yesterday. What happened between then and now? I don’t know, but that’s mighty ironic.”
That’s an unfortunate scene for Smith, as a win over Gustafsson may put him in front of the title picture. ‘Lionheart’ is riding on a two-win streak and now he pointed at knockout artist Jimi Manuwa who was in attendance at UFC Hamburg.
“I saw Jimi Manuwa out there,” Smith said. “Jimi’s a great fighter. He’s a hell of a striker, he’s powerful, and he’s ranked pretty high in the division. I’m not 100 percent sure. I’ll let the UFC and my management figure that out. If not Gustafsson, then I don’t know.
The current situation of the light heavyweight division is messy, as Daniel Cormier injured his hand and would return to fight Brock Lesnar next year for a heavyweight title, also he teased to faced Shogun Rua for 205-pound belt, but Smith changed the picture. Jon Jones return to Octagon is still in the air.
I think that’s the first step: We need to figure out if Cormier’s staying or going,” Smith said. “(UFC President) Dana (White) even said this before, ‘I think Daniel is an honorable man.’ It wouldn’t be very honorable to hold up the division. Because he knows right now. You guys can ask him 100 times, and he won’t tell you, but he knows if he’s coming back down or not. I think he needs to make that public so we can figure out what we’re all doing.”
Now the thing is Cormier needs to decide if he will fight at light heavyweight or no, as he’s holding up the division.