Anthony Smith Ready to Throw Hands with Alex Pereira After UFC 295, Open to Competing in Power Slap

'Lionheart' believes he could score a title fight with Pereira, should the 'Brazlian Boogeyman' leave MSG with light heavyweight gold

Anthony Smith
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Perennial light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith hopes to one day settle things with Alex Pereira, whether it be inside the Octagon, on the mat, or at the Power Slap podium.

UFC 295 will see Pereira go for his second UFC title in a year when he meets former champion Jiri Prochazka for the vacant 205-pound crown. ‘Poatan’ earned his shot after scoring a closely contested split decision over Jan Blachowicz in July.

Following the victory, Pereira expressed frustration over comments that Smith, who works as a part-time analyst on the Believe You Me podcast, had made about him. Pereira claimed that ‘Lionheart’ had been repeatedly biased toward him in his commentary, something Smith vehemently denied. 

“I talked about his size,” Smith said during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “He’s not anywhere close to the biggest [light heavyweight], and I was talking about his advantages and disadvantages of moving up a weight class. And this was before he fought.

“Then he fought, and I think everything I said was right. He didn’t look significantly larger than Jan. His power wasn’t as effective as it was at 185. He’s not the most powerful guy at 205, and that’s OK. He’s a special striker. He’s different in terms of his stand-up game. He’s different than anybody. It’s special. His ground game is coming along great, but some of the advantages he had at 185, he doesn’t enjoy at 205. I don’t think that’s a negative to say – I think it’s a fact.”

With both fighters still actively competing, Smith says that if Pereira ever wants to settle things like men, he’s not very hard to find. 

“The best part about being fighters and me still competing is I can say whatever I want,” Smith said. “If you’re mad about it, then come do something about it. I’m not hard to find. I’ve never ran from him.”

Currently, Smith is sitting on a two-fight losing skid, dropping bouts to Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker. Despite the slump, ‘Lionheart’ believes that a win for Pereira on Saturday night could put him into title contention.

“I definitely think there’s a chance, for sure, Smith said of booking a title fight with Pereira. “I mean, especially if [Pereira] wins. Looks good doing it. Wants a quick [turnaround].”

He continued, “If Jamahal [Hill] is ready then it’s him. I couldn’t expect to jump the line on him and I would be jumping the line anyway, which I’m fine with. I think I’ve been around long enough.”

Anthony Smith Would Try His Hand at Power Slap… For the Right Price

While most fighters and fans were busy trashing Dana White’s latest brainchild, Power Slap, Anthony Smith was praising the pure brutality of the so-called sport. During his conversation with Helwani, ‘Lionheart’ revealed that he will be a catcher on the second season of Power Slap: Road to the Title. 

When it comes to potentially competing in Power Slap, Smith says he’s certainly open to it as long as the price is right. 

“There’s a number, but it’s higher than what they probably want to pay,” Smith said. Asked if it’s more than his MMA pay, Smith said, “No. It’s close probably. It’s easy. Well, it’s not easy. Pretty tough I’d imagine.”

As for whether or not he’d face someone like Alex Pereira in a slapfight, Anthony Smith says bring it on. 

“His chin has seemed to be…mine’s held up better than his recently,” Smith said. “It has. At 205, it’s held up alright. He didn’t take any big shots, but it’s held up OK. … I would love anything. I’ll do it all.”

Watch the full interview below: 

Published on November 9, 2023 at 2:18 pm
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