Since moving up to light heavyweight, Anthony Smith has fought them all, including former dominant champion, Jon Jones, and as of late, he’s been facing young and hungry competition inside the division. Since dropping two straight to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic, Smith has put a halt to the young rising careers of Devin Clark and Jimmy Crute respectfully.
Now riding a two-fight winning streak against young talent looking to claw their way into the Top-10 rankings, Smith will face Ryan Spann who has only one loss inside the UFC. As the UFC continues to feed him up-and-coming talent, “Lionheart” has a message for the next fighter to step inside the cage with him.
During his weekly appearance on ‘MMA Today’ on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation, Anthony Smith broke down how he saw Spann as an opponent, while also recognizing the challenge that he brings as well.
🎙️"I'll say the same thing to Ryan Spann that I said to Jimmy Crute; the same thing I said to Devin Clark. Come on if you're coming. Because I'm right here & I'm not going anywhere." Anthony Smith (@lionheartasmith) talks his next matchup vs. @Superman_Spann w/ @RyanMcKinnell 🔊 pic.twitter.com/nU4qzYQ7vR
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) June 9, 2021
“It’s kind of on my time. I’ll fight you, I’ll fight anybody. If I’m not in camp, then I’ll fight whenever I need to fight. Big fan of that guy [Ryan Spann] like how he fights, he brings the heat for sure, he’s never shying away from a fist fight so I appreciate that about his style. It’s an exciting fight. I think sometimes he makes bad decisions when he fights, he’s green and a little bit inexperience in some of those high-profile spots so I think he has a tendency to make bad decisons, but he has a really good coach so I suspect that he’s not going to make as many of those bad decisions. I’m sure they’re going to come in with a great game plan.”
With his recent fights being an indicator, Anthony Smith recognizes that the first time he opened the door for an unranked upcoming fighter, more were going to come calling for him, but he’s ready for them all.
“Listen, I kind of screwed myself here. I opened the door to all these young guys. Once I gave Devin Clark that opportunity to fight a ranked guy as an unranked guy in a main event, I opened the door for these guys. I’m the guy that they know won’t tell them no. They absolutely know that if ‘Anthony Smith doesn’t have a fight and I call him out, he will take that fight.’ So they’re coming, they’re all coming, every single one of them. I’ll say the same thing to Ryan Spann that I said to Jimmy Crute and the same thing I said to Devin Clark, come on if you’re coming, cause I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere.”
Acknowledging that younger fighters will be gunning for him moving forward, Anthony Smith is making it known he’s ready for any and every challenge that steps his way.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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