Victory FC 47: Anthony Smith Hoping to Extend Run, After Leaving “One of The Darkest Places I’ve Ever Been”
By Kelsey Mowatt
As 2016 gets underway, Anthony Smith is riding six fight winning streak and will compete in a pivotal fight later this month, when he takes on Elvis Mutapcic for Victory FC’s middleweight crown. These are far different circumstances than those which surrounded the UFC vet two years ago.
As 2014 was set to begin, Smith was coming off a submission loss to Josh Neer, had lost three straight, and had been let go by the UFC. The 27 year-old admits that at the time, he wasn’t even sure whether he’d continue to fight.
“Where I was at after the Josh Neer fight was one of the darkest places I’ve ever been,” Smith recently relayed on Full Contact Fighter Radio. “It was such a dark place man. I didn’t know what I was going to do. There was a lot of the f–k it, I’m done. I don’t know if I can fight my way back to the top again. Not is it possible, but I don’t know if I have it in me to take the path, because I didn’t take an easy path to begin with…”
Smith ultimately elected to stick with it, however, and since the loss to Neer, “Lionheart” has done nothing but win. As a result, a championship win against Mutapcic on January 29th, could prompt the call Smith has been hoping to receive.
“I’m doing everything I can do to get back to the UFC,” said Smith, who stopped UFC vet Brock Jardine at RFA 30 in September. “At this point, we’re trying to find the hardest fights possible, and the only ones, like I said before, the only ones who are saying yes I’m taking.”
In Mutapcic, Smith will take on a fighter who has gone 8-2 in his last 10 bouts. During that time the 29 year-old won the Maximum Fighting Championship’s middleweight belt, and competed for WSOF.
“Elvis is widely regarded as one of the best middleweights not in the UFC as well,” added Smith, before referring to what he’s accomplished since 2014. “So I don’t know what else I would have to do. It’s not really about who’s the best anymore. I know it sounds cocky, but I think I’ve proven that in the last two years. I think there’s probably not too many people who can argue that. But it’s about really who’s left, as there’s not really a lot of people lining up for that fight right now.”
The January 29th, Victory FC 47 card will take place in Omaha, Nebraska and the event will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.