In the main event of UFC Stockholm, this Saturday, Anthony Smith will take on Alexander Gustafsson in an intriguing light heavyweight matchup. They are both coming off of losses to Jon Jones for the belt, and whoever wins, they can remain at the top of the division.
Now, as Smith gets ready for another fight, he looked back on the Jones performance and knows he has to do things differently for this scrap.
“I think I got away from who I am,” Smith told MMA Junkie. “I’m a pressure fighter who counters and swings hammers. That’s what I do. I drop people into ugly, knockdown drag-outs and I beat them mentally.
“I think those last fights, I overthought it. So that’s been the whole focus. Just be me. There is no game plan for Alex. The last few fights, there have been pretty strict game plans, and they haven’t been my best performances.”
Although they both lost to Jones, looking at their two fights, Smith says there is a key difference between them.
“I had a (expletive) day at the office and was still able to be in there, and Alex wasn’t,” Smith said. “Regardless of what he says, I think Alex has a history (where) he can get into some fire and fall apart. And that’s not me. I don’t fall apart in the fire.
“Even in the Jon fight, I didn’t fall apart. I just didn’t perform, I think he can be broken. I don’t say that as a way of disrespecting him. I have no beef with Alex, but if we’re being honest and taking about Xs and Os, he can be broken.”
Ultimately, Anthony Smith is more than confident in his game and believes he will be able to break Gustafsson in there.
“There’s one of two ways he’s going to react,” he said. “What Alex shows up depends on how he feels about me. If he thinks that he’s just better than me everywhere, then I think it’s going to be a long night for him. But if he feels the way I feel, and it motivates him as much as it’s angered him as much as it has me, it’s going to be a hell of a fight.
“I don’t care either way. I know what I’m going to do. I don’t even care if he knows it. I’m going to march across the cage and get in his face and swing hammers, and if he gets too close, I’m going to drag him to the ground and punch him wherever I can. That’s it. There’s no secret to it.”