Alex Pereira explains his feud with Anthony Smith
Alex Pereira says his feud with Anthony Smith started ahead of his first UFC fight. Prior to signing with the promotion, ‘Po Atan’ was a two-division champion in GLORY, where he earned a reputation as one of the most feared fighters on the roster. Though most were impressed with his résumé that included two wins against Israel Adesanya, some, including ‘Lionheart’ were not sold on Pereira.
To Pereira, it all stems from Smith moving the goalposts every time he would prove himself as a potential contender.
“The issue is, man, he has his job with the UFC commentating. He’s got to do what he’s got to do, but we feel that since the beginning, he gives me no credit,” said Pereira through an interpreter during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “For example, I made my debut [at UFC 268], I came from GLORY, he was like, ‘Yeah, he’s a GLORY kickboxer, but now he’s fighting a very tough grappler, [Andreas] Michailidis, he’s going to be a wrestling and everything, it’s going to be too much of a challenge for him. I go and knock the guy out.
“Then he goes, ‘Oh, but that guy he fought wasn’t tough. He was a nobody. Now he’s going fight Bruno Silva [at UFC Vegas 50], he beat [Alexander] Schlemenko in Russia by knockout, he’s a beast, this is going to be too tough, too much for him,’” continued Pereira. “I go and beat Bruno Silva, and then that’s when [Smith says the same] with Sean Strickland. ‘Bruno Silva wasn’t that tough, but Sean Strickland, man, he’s a challenge right now. It’s not going to be good for him.’ I go and beat Sean Strickland [at UFC 276].”
Alex Pereira wants Smith to give him credit
Even after the win against Sean Strickland — which led to his first championship opportunity against Adesanya — Alex Pereira said Anthony Smith was still hesitant to give him credit.
“It’s always something,” said Pereira. “‘Oh, Sean Strickland, that was not a tough challenge,’ and this and that. ‘He’s still got to prove himself. Now he has to go fight Adesanya!’ I go and beat Adesanya [at UFC 281], and then after that, I go up to light heavyweight but [Smith says], ‘He just lost his last fight. He’s too small for light heavyweight. He’s a tough fight, Blachowicz [at UFC 291]. He won’t pass.’ I go and beat [Blachowicz]. It’s always something going on that Anthony doesn’t give me the proper credit that I deserve.
“He kind of hates on me a little bit,” continued Pereira. “Instead of going, ‘OK, in the beginning, I was wrong. I thought the guy would not get that fight. I was wrong.’ He’s a commentator. He should try more to win the crowd, not lose them. Bring the people more, be charismatic. Own it. But it’s always something else to discredit me for everything, and that’s why the beef is there.”
The feud has continued, with Pereira going as far as saying Smith was ‘washed up’ and has not ‘amounted to anything’ throughout his career. That response came after Smith gave his opinion on the former UFC champion moving up from 185 to 205, something he has experience with.
Next fight for Pereira
Now that Alex Pereira and Anthony Smith are in the same weight class, perhaps a fight is in their future. Up first for Pereira, though, is Jiri Prochazka, the former UFC champion who returns from injury to vie for the championship he never lost inside the Octagon. Pereira vs. Prochazka serves as the co-main event of UFC 295, the upcoming pay-per-view event set for Sat., Nov. 11, at the Madison Square Garden.
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