Having been called out by ‘Poatan’ himself on Twitter about a month ago, Smith was quick to accept the challenge. In an interview on the MMA Hour, ‘Lionheart’ explained there was no reason for him not to take the fight.
Could Anthony Smith ‘smoke’ Poatan on the mat?
However, Smith does not believe Alex Pereira was being serious about it as much as he was just trying to generate some buzz online. If the Brazilian was being sincere about the call-out, though, then Smith thinks the longtime kickboxer would be in for a long night.
“I mean, I would do it. But do you think he would? Not a chance, not a chance. I think it’s just him taking jabs. You know how it is in this media world, it doesn’t have to be true; you just have to convince people that it’s true, or that you want it to be true.”
What confuses Smith the most is why Alex Pereira was taunting him, instead of someone with more relevance in the division. Someone like Pereira’s next opponent, former light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka.
“I would grapple him in my front yard right now,” Smith added. “It doesn’t matter. I would smoke him in a grappling match. But isn’t he supposed to — I don’t know why he’s not talking trash to Jiri (Prochazka). Like, that’s the guy. I understand trying to drum up some business and drum up some some intrigue into what you’re doing and things in the division, but like, someone needs to be in his ear saying, ‘If you’re going to be talking all this s***, you need to do it to the guy that you could be fighting for the title.’”
Smith sides with Pereira against Prochazka
Speaking of Jiri Prochazka, Anthony Smith is looking forward to seeing the former champion return and to take on such a fierce opponent in Alex Pereira.
Despite his online antics with the Brazilian online, Lionheart still sides with Poatan at UFC 295, claiming the former middleweight champ should break through Prochazka’s lacking defense in order to secure a win.
“Jiri’s proven to be hittable, very hittable. I just don’t know that you can be as hittable as he is at times and get out of there with a win with Alex Pereira, because he’s just, he gets hit off-balance a lot. That’s more of the bigger issue, at least in my opinion, because he is so free and flowy and kind of creative, that he ends up in funky ass positions, taking punches. And just don’t know that Alex Pereira is probably the guy — he could get away with that maybe with a guy like me, who’s not the most powerful puncher in the division. But Alex is.”
Catch Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295
In his most recent outing, Anthony Smity (37-18) defeated Ryan Spann via split decision, in August 2023. The victory snapped a two-fight losing skid for the 35-year-old, who lost to Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker, respectively in July 2022 and May 2023.
Now, Alex Pereira is expected to take on Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295’s co- main event, in New York City. The November 11 card is scheduled to be headlined by a heavyweight title fightt between champion Jon Jones and former title-holder Stipe Miocic.
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