Could a victory for Anthony Smith over no. 2 Volkan Oezdemir warrant title shot for the fast-rising light heavyweight?
Anthony Smith will look to continue his run in the light heavyweight division next weekend as he takes on Volkan Oezdemir in Moncton, Canada. Ahead of his fight next weekend, Smith sat down with the SFLC Podcast to discuss his rise in the division and his feelings on the current UFC rankings.
Smith, no. 10 ranked, will take a huge leap in his upcoming fight with major title implications. But do these rankings really mean much when taking a fight against the No. 2 competitor in the light heavyweight division?
“The ranking system is something that can be used to your advantage if it works out for you, and something you can dismiss when it doesn’t work out in your favor,” Smith stated.
“Its purely a political tool,” he added.
Oezdemir is coming off a loss to former light heavyweight champion, current heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, where Cormier earned a 2nd round TKO back in January. Conversely, Smith has back-to-back TKO wins over, former champion, Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua. While Smith dominated both fights on his feet, the brown belt jiu jitsu fighter doesn’t consider himself a dominant striker.
“Little known fact, I’ve got one for you, I don’t know what people are going to do when they find out that I’m not actually a striker,” Smith declared.
“I never have been and I’ve never claimed to be a striker. You’ll never find an interview ever saying that I’m a devastating striker. Obviously, I have power and I can knock people out but that is not my style and it never has been. I’ve been a jiu jitsu guy my whole career. I’ve been a brown belt for five years and I’ve got lots of submission wins over black belts,” He finished.
With a victory over Oezdemir, Smith feels he could earn himself a title shot against the winner of the Jon Jones-Alexander Gustaffson rematch, even though calling out fights has never really been something that Smith does.
“Ive never been a person to ask for something,” Smith claimed.
“But since I was 17 years old, and I started fighting at end of 2006, or whenever it was, I’ve dreamed of being in a position where I can feel confident enough to stand in the middle of the octagon with a microphone in my face and ask for a title shot. And I think with a finish or dominant finish over Volkan Oezdemir, I think that dream will finally come true. I think that after my last two wins over two former world champions, one of them being ranked in the top 10, with a dominate win or finish over the number 2 guy in the world, with no one else in front of him, that isn’t fighting for a title, I don’t know what else I would have to do to feel comfortable enough to ask for it,” Smith continued.
Anthony “Lionheart” Smith looks to continue his win streak against Volkan Oezdemir at the Avenir Centre Oct. 27 at UFC Fight Night in Moncton, Canada.
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