UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith has taken the time to explain what he believes divisional rival Corey Anderson must do in order to earn a title shot against Jon Jones.
Anderson recently made headlines with a stunning TKO win over rising star Johnny Walker, before going on a tirade regarding how he feels he has been treated by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The Ultimate Fighter seems happy to sit and wait for his title shot, which isn’t something that Smith can understand.
Smith made it clear during a segment on MMA Tonight that he believes in working your way up to the top, which is what he did back in 2018 with wins over Rashad Evans, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Volkan Oezdemir before challenging Jon Jones for the title.
“I just beat the next guy,” Smith said about how he earned a title shot (via MMA News). “When the UFC said, ‘Oh, what do you think’s next?’ ‘Whoever you think is next. Who do I gotta beat to get to a title shot?’ ‘Well, Volkan Oezdemir’s number 2.’ ‘Give me that f***ing guy then.’ And that’s what I did. Sometimes you gotta put your head down, and you gotta work, and stop complaining all the time.
“Just put your head down, and beat the next guy, and don’t complain about it,” Smith continued. “And then, every once in a while, try to be a little bit exciting and stop talking shit about the guys that are doing it right. You want to talk shit about Thiago Santos? Thiago Santos got a title shot. You want to talk shit about me? I got a title shot. So instead of talking shit, maybe emulate what we do a little bit, try to get a goddamn finish, stop talking shit about the UFC, and just beat the next guy. It’s that simple.
“I don’t understand this formula in his head, it’s like he’s doing brain surgery. It’s not that hard. I’m the next guy that you have to beat. It’s that simple.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/19/2019.