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Exclusive: Anthony Smith opens up on where he is placed in the Light Heavyweight title scene

Anthony Smith picked up several injuries against Glover Teixeira
Anthony Smith of the United States looks on against Glover Teixeira of Brazil in their Light Heavyweight bout during UFC Fight Night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 13, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Anthony Smith takes on Aleksandar Rakic next but the Light Heavyweight division doesn’t have a champion

Jon Jones vacating the UFC Light Heavyweight title has opened the door for several of his rivals to pick up the gold.

Jones has moved up to the Heavyweight division in hopes of beating Stipe Miocic. The American has been excellent in the Light Heavyweight division and is believed to be one of the greatest MMA stars of all-time.

Anthony Smith in action against Jon Jones
Anthony Smith (L) throws a punch during a light heavyweight title bout against Jon Jones during UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena on March 02, 2019 (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

While Jones plans his next steps, the UFC needs to crown a new champion too. Smith was talking to the Schmo and he was asked about his division.

Thiago Santos faces off against Glover Teixeira. However, the fight for the vacant belt sees Jan Blachowicz battle Dominick Reyes.

Reyes and Smith have tried to get the belt from Jones in the past but both have been defeated by the former champion.

Smith understood that he wasn’t in the title scene now, but he didn’t entirely give it up:

“I think it depends on what happens with the other fights. If someone gets hurt in the Blachowicz-Reyes fight that kind of pushes everybody back.

“If Thiago Santos and Glover have a snooze fest and it’’s not very exciting and I go out and have an emphatic finish, I think I have an opportunity to jump the line.”

However, Smith also respected the game and added that it Teixeira got a great him, he would have to sit down and wait for his chance.

A major comeback for Smith?

Smith’s last fight was against Teixeira and many expected Lionheart to get the win. However, it was the experienced Teixeira who got the win and there was a lot of talk about Smith losing his teeth in the fight too.

This is a chance for Smith to get back to winning ways. Rakic is coming off his first loss in the UFC in his previous outing and it will be interesting to see how things go in this battle.

Glover Teixeira dominated Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night
Glover Teixeira (R) fights Anthony Smith in their Light Heavyweight bout during UFC Fight Night (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Smith also served a warning ahead of the fight. He was asked if his last win, over Alexander Gustafsson, was his best but Lionheart claimed he is yet to be at his best in the UFC:

“I think that was one of my worst performances. I don’t know, I didn’t really stick to any game plan.

“Just went out and fought emotional when I fought Gus, I didn’t go there to win, just went there to make myself feel better. That’s what I was focussed on.

“As far as best performances, Shogun was good but I still made some mistakes. I still think I haven’t performed anywhere close to my abilities.

“That’s really what I am focussed on, I just want to f****** perform on time and do what I know I am capable of.”

Smith still has a couple of quality years in him left, and his next clash could be one of the best of the year too.

This was an exclusive interview from The Schmozone Podcast. For more exclusive interviews and content please follow the link

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Written by Saiyed Adeem Karim

Ditching a corporate job to follow a dream isn't easy, but when football comes calling, who can say no? Been following the beautiful game since 1998. Liverpool addict, F1 fanatic!

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