Anthony Smith and Luke Rockhold have had a heated rivalry for quite some time. Ever since “Lionheart” moved up from the middleweight division and began having success at light heavyweight, the former middleweight champion Rockhold has been critical of him.
Yet when Rockhold made his own debut at 205-pounds, he was knocked out in the second round by Jan Blachowicz. For Anthony Smith, this was good to see as it forced Rockhold eat his words. But, even after Rockhold’s failed light heavyweight debut, Smith isn’t done trash-talking his rival.
“As for Rockhold, I think that is what happened. He put pressure on himself,” Anthony Smith told BJPENN.com. “He was going to beat Jan then go and beat Jon Jones. I said it from the beginning that Rockhold’s chin wasn’t lasting at 185 so it was not going to hold up here at 205. The whole concept of, well if Anthony Smith can do it, then I can do it, you can flush that whole concept down the toilet.
“He is not me and he made it very clear in his last fight that just because I can do it doesn’t mean he can. Jan was ranked five or six when they fought, so Rockhold can’t beat the number six dude, let alone take on Jon Jones. I beat the number-two dude, number eight, and another number two,” he continued. “I’ve beaten two number-two guys and the eighth-ranked guy and Rockhold couldn’t even beat the sixth-ranked guy. And, it wasn’t even competitive. So I think it is time for Luke Rockhold to sit the f**k down and shut the f**k up.”
Anthony Smith’s advice for Chris Weidman
There is no question Smith and Rockhold do not like each other, but someone Smith does respect is Chris Weidman. Weidman, another former middleweight champ, is also moving up in weight and will take on Dominick Reyes in October at UFC Boston.
Anthony Smith has some advice for Weidman ahead of this fight, and it’s simple. Just focus on the current fight not about what is next — which is what he believes Rockhold did.
“When it comes to Chris Weidman, he needs to get some fights in the division and not put a bunch of pressure on himself,” Smith said. “The way the division is, once he gets in there and gets a win or two he will fight for the title. But, if he loses then he is trash according to fans. He can’t put pressure on himself he needs to get some wins and we can see about that fight later.”
What do you make of Anthony Smith’s comments?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/21/2019.