Anthony Smith claims he and Alex Pereira squashed their apparent beef during UFC 303 fight week: “Very cool relationship”

By Curtis Calhoun - July 9, 2024

UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith’s tense banter with Alex Pereira has turned over a new leaf.

Anthony Smith, Alex Pereira

Pereira and Smith both took on short-notice endeavors at UFC 303 last month. In the main event, Pereira defended his UFC light heavyweight title against Jiří Procházka after stepping up following Conor McGregor’s sudden withdrawal from the card due to injury.

Smith lost to middleweight contender Roman Dolidze in a short-notice light heavyweight bout on the UFC 303 main card. He stepped up on weeks’ notice to face Carlos Ulberg, before Ulberg’s withdrawal and Dolidze’s offering to be a last-second replacement.

Smith and Pereira have had some bad blood in recent months. In the past, Smith has questioned Pereira’s stoic persona, and dismissed Pereira’s skillset as being limited.

But, Smith and Pereira hit it off at UFC 303, and any tempers between them have faltered.

Anthony Smith: Alex Pereira and I developed “Very cool relationship”

In a recent episode of the Believe You Me podcast, Smith explained how things pivoted between himself and Pereira.

“Alex and I have this very cool relationship [now],” Smith explained. “I think it’s very, very cool what we have going on. We’re very competitive in general, but when we’re in person, I thought it was so cool how we have this respect for each other. Because it’s not awkward…

“It’s unfair of me to speak about him as a fighter and then we get all this riled-up nonsense. I think it would be unfair of me to not say on the flip side how in social situations or when we’re in person, how super respectful he is.”

Pereira has surged into a UFC superstar in just a handful of fights. He’s the fastest to become a two-division UFC champion after earning the light heavyweight belt in November.

Smith could potentially be in the final chapter of his career after the loss to Dolidze. His light heavyweight title chances are greatly diminished following UFC 303.

It appears that cooler heads have prevailed between Smith and Pereira, and two of the most notable names in the division are on respectful terms.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Alex Pereira Anthony Smith UFC