Anthony Smith says fight with Ryan Spann was a ‘chaotic kind of mess’

After a dominant victory at UFC Vegas 37 Anthony Smith sat down with members of the media to discuss what’s next. 

Anthony Smith came into his fight with Ryan Spann looking to build on the momentum he had gained following a disappointing loss to Aleksander Rakic in the main event of UFC Vegas 8. Now just over a year later at UFC Vegas 37, Smith seems to have found his swagger again.

After a dominant victory over Spann bringing his overall UFC record to 36-16-0 Smith was confident in the press room. Smiling and cracking jokes. But when the conversation turned to the fight that he had just completed. He wasn’t so quick to accept the praise that it was one of his more technically impressive bouts.

“To be really honest with you I feel like I performed better against Jimmy Crute,” he said. “Maybe that’s because I haven’t gone back and watched the fight yet. I expected to be in the fire with Ryan Spann the whole time and that’s exactly how it felt. Like I was kind of just in this chaotic kind of mess the whole time. I haven’t watched it yet but the way I feel it was chaotic and all over the place but maybe that isn’t the case.”

His fight against Crute also ended in a round one stoppage but unlike his victory over Spann which came via submission he was able to knock out Crute in just the first five minutes of the fight.

The conversation would eventually turn to the Austrian elephant in the room, Aleksandar Rakic, who beat Smith in August 2020 at UFC Vegas 8 via unanimous decision. A victory that would propel Rakic into the upper atmosphere of the light heavyweight division in the UFC. Smith had a lot to say on his growth in the last year and just how different a fighter he is now compared to the last time he and Rakic stood across a cage from one another.

“I’m totally different,” he said. “I even think if I was to fight the guy who fought Jimmy Crute, I would kick that guy’s ass. I’m making gains really quickly. Some of that is maturity. Some of that is mental approach, some of that is personal growth and happiness. I think some of that is accountability. It’s like I said earlier I credit a lot of that too Aleksandar Rakic. Sitting with my team and having a lot of tough conversations and coming to hard realizations.”

Smith would then indicate that while he has no animosity in his heart for Rakic it’s only right that they run it back.

“That’s what I want, that’s what I asked for, that’s the fight I want. It’s nothing personal. Me and Rakic have had nothing but positive exchanges before and after the fight. It’s purely competitive. I want his spot. He took mine and I want to get it back.”

Whether or not Rakic will accept the challenge and Dana White will book the fight remains to be seen. But it is certain that the Jimmy Smith of old has been replaced. By a newer, meaner, and possibly even more dangerous model than the one before him.

Published at Sun, 19 Sep 2021 21:33:17 +0000

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