Anthony Smith Reflects on Scoring First UFC Win, Had “Zero” Hesitation About Taking Short Notice Bout
By Kelsey Mowatt
After a two year plus hiatus from the Octagon, not only has Anthony Smith returned to the UFC, the middleweight has recorded his first victory with the promotion. So how does the veteran fighter feel?
Recently Smith appeared on Full Contact Fighter Radio to discuss the unanimous decision win he recorded over Leonardo Guimares at UFC Fight Night 83. The bout marked the first time Smith had fought in the UFC since June, 2013, when he was submitted by Antonio Brago Neto.
“Lionheart” exited the promotion afterwards, and was defeated by Josh Neer in his next bout. Following that loss, however, Smith proceeded to win seven straight fights, avenged his loss to Neer, and was tapped to face Guimares on short notice, February 21st.
“I feel; it’s kind of a double edged sword to be honest,” said Smith, when asked how he’s feeling, after recording his first UFC win. “ I feel, I’m happy you know? I finally got the shot, I finally got the opportunity. It wasn’t necessarily under the best circumstances but I knew it wasn’t going to be ideal.”
“Nonetheless, I’m here,” furthered Smith. “The fight itself I’m not necessarily that happy with but I cut 30 pounds in five days and fought to a decision. I got the win and any win in the UFC is a big deal. I’m happy man. I really am.”
Smith faced Neer for a second time at Victory Fighting Championship 47 on January 29th, and scored a first round stoppage win. A couple of weeks later Smith’s manager was called by the UFC, who wanted to know if the fighter would step in for Trevor Smith on February 21st, and face Guimares.
“Zero,” said Smith, when asked if he had any hesitation about taking the short notice bout. “My manager called, we were actually going to sign a contract for a different fight, because they hadn’t called yet. So I just thought you know what? I’ll just fight again and keep on rockin. He called, he started to say okay, it’s against, and I just cut him off. ‘I don’t give a s–t; it doesn’t matter.’ He said ‘well, the fight’s on’ and I said ‘I don’t care’. He’s like ‘dude, it’s on Sunday’, and I said ‘I don’t give a s–t. I don’t care when it is. I’m ready’.
Smith surged ahead early in the fight, and landed some heavy shots, but Guimares battled back and won round three. At one point, the referee was calling on Smith to indicate he was okay, as Guimares hit him with punches from above.
“I said I’m fine, I’m just stuck,” said Smith, who also said that the large weight cut he underwent compromised his cardio for the bout. “I’m good. I’m not hurt, I’m not rocked, I’m not quitting. My arm was tied up and he had wrist control from the side. I was just stuck.”
With the win, the 27 year-old Smith moved his pro record to 25-11. The middleweight also relayed in the interview that he’s hoping to fight one more time before summer, 2016.