Anthony Smith Snaps on Light Heavyweight Division For Turning Down UFC 303 Fight: ‘I’m Willing to Do the Sh*t You Guys Won’t’

'Lionheart' was left frustrated by the fact that nobody in his division was willing to step up and fight him on short notice.

Anthony Smith
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Anthony Smith isn’t exactly thrilled with his light heavyweight compatriots these days. 

UFC 303 has seen a slew of changes over the last several weeks and ‘Lionheart’ has found himself smack dab in the middle of it all. Stepping in on two weeks’ notice, Smith was set to square off with Carlos Ulberg after the New Zealander’s original opponent, Jamahal Hill was forced to bow out of the bout due to a knee injury. 

Now with Ulberg withdrawing from the event, the promotion was once again forced to comb the light heavyweight division for a suitable replacement for Smith. Unfortunately, nobody within the division was willing to step up and offer their services, forcing the UFC to grab someone from the middleweight pool.

Smith will now fight the No. 10 ranked contender at 185, Roman Dolidze

Addressing members of the press during Wednesday’s UFC 303 media day, Smith laid it on his fellow 205’ers, slamming every one of them for refusing to do what he did and step up to the plate.

“As far as impact goes, I think that him moving up says a lot about my division,” Smith said. “If you guys wanna do your jobs, go ask every available light heavyweight why there’s a middleweight fighting this fight. They’re gonna make up a bunch of sh*t, but I think you guys can read between the lines.

“Every single one of them said no. I’m the veteran, I’m the gatekeeper; whatever those guys say, ‘Why does Anthony get paid so much? Why does he get this opportunity?’ … Because I’m willing to do the sh*t that you guys won’t do. Me fighting a middleweight on Saturday proves that to everybody. So I think all those guys just got exposed.”

Anthony Smith Seeks His First Win Streak Since 2021

Unfortunately, a win over Dolidze is unlikely to do much of anything for Smith in terms of ranking, but a victory would give ‘Lionheart’ his first win streak since 2021. 

Smith is coming off a big two-minute submission victory over Vitor Petrino at UFC 301 last month. He has now won two of his last three. If he can bag another W inside T-Mobile Arena this weekend, it will be his best run since scoring a trio of wins over Devin Clark, Jimmy Crute, and Ryan Spann during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Check out Anthony Smith’s UFC 301 post-fight interview below:

Published on June 27, 2024 at 11:44 am
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