Anthony Smith has not fought since June of this year when he submitted Alexander Gustafsson. It was a very impressive performance but after that, he needed another hand surgery and has been out since.
Many have been wondering when he will return to the Octagon and he provided an update on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
“We got some things in the works that I imagine that here in the next week, we’re going to have some news for you guys,” Smith said (via BJPENN.com). “It’s not an opponent problem, it’s a venue problem. Opponent is locked in, it’s location [still being worked on].”
One opponent he wanted was Corey Anderson, but he was recently booked to fight Jan Blachowicz. He doesn’t understand why he turned him down given he is ranked higher than Blachowicz.
“I think it’s a silly fight to be honest. Both of those guys were offered fights with me in the last two, two-and-a-half weeks. Both of them turned it down. I understand. I’m not going to give Jan any grief for turning the fight down, because he turned it down to chase Corey Anderson. I understand that, he’s got a loss to him, he wants to avenge that loss. Even post-fight [vs Anderson] he didn’t talk about me, he talked about Corey Anderson and he talked about Thiago Santos. I know better than anybody wanting to avenge a loss, so him wanting to get back to that and Corey being available and highly-ranked, makes sense.
“He had the opportunity not once, not twice, but three times in the last month we’ll say. Since his fight, and turned them all down. He passed up an opportunity to fight someone higher ranked than Jan, and didn’t want it. He could’ve fought the number-three guy, why is he going down to fight Jan? It puts me in a weird position because he was the next highly-ranked guy that was available. So where does that leave me? Now I’m going to have to go further down the ranks, which unlike Corey, I’m willing to do, because that’s my job.”
In the end, Anthony Smith is just eager to return to the Octagon soon.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime