Anthony Smith doesn’t understand the hype behind Magomed Ankalaev ahead of UFC 277 fight: “They’re talking about him like he’s the second coming of Jesus”

By Cole Shelton - July 27, 2022

Anthony Smith doesn’t understand why people are hyping up Magomed Ankalaev so much.

Anthony Smith

Smith is set to open up the UFC 277 pay-per-view card against Ankalaev in a crucial fight for the light heavyweight division. The winner could get the next title shot and heading into the fight, ‘Lionheart’ is the biggest underdog on the card at +410.

“I have a lot of respect for Paul Craig, so I hope Paul sees this and doesn’t take this as disrespect. For what everyone expects Ankalaev to do to me, it’s very shocking that Paul Craig was still around in the third round to do that,” Smith said at UFC 277 media day. “I don’t mean that in a negative way for Paul. They’re talking about him like he’s the second coming of Jesus and he’s going to rip my head off my shoulders and feed it to the crowd. That’s not a guy that should have Paul Craig hanging around for 15 minutes.

“He was kind of in a lackluster (fight), I don’t know it wasn’t super exciting with Thiago Santos and he managed to make a guy like Thiago boring,” Smith continued. “It takes a special individual to be able to do that. So, I don’t for a second discredit the things he is able to do, I’m also not in the belief that Thiago Santos is the same guy we are used to seeing. I don’t know man, maybe I’ll figure it out on Saturday night, we’ll see. As of right now, I just don’t see it.”

Anthony Smith enters the fight coming off a first-round submission win over Ryan Spann, this after defeating Jimmy Crute by TKO and submitting Devin Clark. The win over Clark snapped his two-fight losing skid after previously suffering a TKO loss to Glover Teixeira followed by a decision setback to Aleksandar Rakic.

What do you make of Anthony Smith’s comments about Magomed Ankalaev?

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