In 2018, Anthony Smith made quite the name for himself inside the UFC octagon.
After getting some solid yet impressive wins in the UFC 205 pound division this year, Smith has climbed high up the ranks and established himself as one of the top contenders in the weight class.
However, in the midst of all Smith’s recent success, has come some disdain from former UFC 205 pound champion and arguably one of the all time greats in MMA, Jon Jones.
Jones recently stated that he has not been too impressed by the emergence of Smith, in which Smith has not been shy about responding to.
As a matter fact, Smith did respond to the remarks Jones said about him while at the UFC 25th Anniversary show this past Saturday night, where he implied that contrary to Jones’ belief, he is indeed ready for a title shot.
“Man, people have been saying that s**t about me forever,” he told reporters at a post-event scrum (transcript via MMAMania). “I wasn’t ready for [Volkan] Oezdemir, I wasn’t ready for ‘Shogun’ [Rua]. When are people going to … maybe I’m just good? I don’t know when people might entertain that, but I might just be good.”
“I think that Jon is in a weird place now,” he continued. I’ve won three fights in five months. Jon Jones has won three fights in five years. Like, what more do I have to do, you know? I’m busting my ass, I’m in great entertaining fights, three finishes. Part of me is like ‘What are you even talking about? You don’t even really fight.’ Until just now, Jon Jones wasn’t even eligible!”
While it’s clear to see the tension between Smith and Jones, Smith stated it’s not his goal to create any type of grudge match with him.
“I’m not one of those guys trying to build animosity with Jon,” he said. “I don’t give a s**t about Jon Jones, it’s about the title for me. But likely, he’s going to be the one who has it, I would guess. So he’s the one that people ask questions about.”
“I think the things that bother Jon is when people ask me do I think he cheats? Yeah, I do. It’s failed drug tests, how can you argue with that. He’s been suspended twice for PEDs. I’m not the only one talking about Jon Jones so it’s like I don’t know what his deal is but I don’t give a s**t.”
“I’m not out here to start s**t with anybody and I don’t have a problem with Jon Jones, I don’t know Jon Jones. But I can only speak to what we all know. I’ve never talked about him personally, and that’s the route people go a lot with Jon. They want to talk about his personal life and all the trouble he’s been in. Again, I don’t give a s**t about that either, I just want to fight him and I think he cheats. Like, that’s it.”
Do you believe Anthony “Lionheart” Smith could be the man who can actually defeat Jon Jones?