Smith Is “Angry” Heading Into UFC Stockholm
Anthony Smith has not been a happy man since March of this year.
In March, Smith was handed his first chance at becoming UFC light heavyweight champion and his first Pay-Per-View main event against Jon Jones at UFC 235.
The night would go the opposite of what Jones’ wanted or expected, as he would fall to Jones by unanimous decision.
“I still can’t [explain it] and that’s the problem,” Smith said to The MMA Hour. “It didn’t feel any different. The media obligations were a little bit crazier, Vegas was pretty wild, there was a lot of fans, I got recognized a lot more. But other than that, it felt normal. The whole camp felt good. I mean, if we’re really going to split hairs, then I think training camp was a little bit too long. But I can’t put my finger on anything. Fight night I felt good, walking to the Octagon I felt good, right before the fight started I felt fine and looked better than I’ve ever been. I was sharp, I was on point. So I don’t know what happened.”
“To be honest with you, I don’t give a f**k what happens in the fight,” Smith said of his UFC Stockholm Main Event against Alexander Gustafsson. “I want to perform and that’s it. I want to hit him as many times as I possibly can, I want to punch when I can punch, I want to kick when I can kick and if he gets to close I’ll drag him to the f**king ground and if he gets up then I’ll do it again. That’s all I want to do. I want to perform. That’s as far as my mind has gone. After that, we’ll see what happens because it’s not even about Alex, it’s about me. This is about wanting to take a break but I can’t do it with this burning feeling in my stomach.
“I have this feeling where I just need to destroy something. So whatever happens in the interim, it doesn’t matter to me. I just need to get this feeling out of my stomach and it’s driving me crazy and it keeps me up at night. I just don’t give a s**t. It could be Alex, it could have been 10 other guys in the division. There’s no gameplan. Those last two fights, I think I got a little too intricate with the gameplans and I think it made me think too much. I’m an instinctual fighter and I alway have been so I think got away brought me to the dance. I’m a pressure guy that gets in your face and swings hammers. I could be a super clean striker that’s really pretty and ‘OOs’ and ‘AHHs’ everybody. But deep down in my heart, that’s not who I am and I think that, I don’t know, maybe I was trying to be something I’m not [against Jones].”
Smith, who walked into his title shot with major knockouts of Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua, and a submission win over Volkan Oezdemir.
“There is no gameplan,” Smith said. “It’s just to react and most of the time my instincts are correct. So I just want to do what feels right in the moment and not hold myself back so much and think so much and just f**king fight.”
UFC Fight Night 153: Gustafsson-Smith will air on live from the Ericsson Globe on June 1st at 1pm et on ESPN+.
For the full card look below.
MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 1 p.m. ET)
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Smith
Jimi Manuwa vs. Aleksandar Rakić
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Chris Fishgold
Damir Hadzovic vs. Christos Giagos
Daniel Teymur vs. Sung Bin Jo
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 10 a.m. ET)
Rostem Akman vs. Sergey Khandozhko
Tonya Evinger vs. Lina Lansberg
Stevie Ray vs. Leonardo Santos
Nick Hein vs. Frank Camacho
Bea Malecki vs. Eduarda Santana
Darko Stosic vs. Devin Clark
Joel Alvarez vs. Danilo Belluardo
Quotes: MMA Fighting