No matter what happens in his fight with Alexander Gustafsson next weekend, it appears that Anthony Smith is on a collision course with former UFC middleweight champ Luke Rockhold.
Smith and Rockhold have been trading barbs back and forth on social media ever since ‘Lionheart’ suffered a unanimous decision loss to Jon Jones in the main event of UFC 235 this past April.
Following Smith’s setback to ‘Bones’, Luke Rockhold told reporters that the recent light heavyweight title challenger was nothing but a “bum” who had no business challenging Jones in the first place.
Those comments obviously did not sit well with Anthony Smith, who fired back at ‘Rocky’ during a recent interview with MMAJunkie.
“The Conor (McGregor) thing, there’s either real beef, or he’s funny about it,” said Smith. “It’s very clear that what Conor is doing is promotion. There’s no secret there. But Luke’s isn’t like that. He’s genuinely attacking me. There’s no promotion here. He’s just being an (expletive). Which is fine, but you’ve got to answer for that.”
“Don’t act like we’re going to be in public places and we’re going to get along,” Anthony Smith continued. “That’s not going to happen. I wasn’t raised like that. You talk like that in Nebraska, you’re going to get dragged out by your ears and get the (expletive) beat out of you.”
‘Lionheart’ went on to explain that Luke Rockhold could have used the gentlemen’s approach if he really wanted to fight.
“If you want to talk your way into a fight, that’s fine,” he said. “There’s ways of going about it. You don’t have to convince me. I’m not the guy that you’ve got to goad into a fight. All you’ve got to do is ask. Want to fight? Sure. Yeah. Let’s do it. That’s as far as you’ve got to go. And if you want to build a fight, you’re not the (expletive) champion. So what are you building it for? You don’t get pay-per-view points. I don’t get PPV points. You’re not making any more money by being an (expletive). So what are we doing here? It’s a waste of time.”
Anthony Smith will look to return to his winning ways this Saturday in Stockholm when he squares off with hometown favorite Alexander Gustafsson.
Meanwhile, Luke Rockhold is slated to battle Jan Blachowicz at July’s UFC 239 event in Las Vegas. That fight will mark Rockhold’s promotional debut at light heavyweight.
Despite what happens in their upcoming contests, Anthony Smith claims that if the UFC offers him Luke Rockhold next, he will take it.
“I’m not here trying to be some company guy,” Smith said. “I’m a man of my word. And I’ve told you guys from day one, if the UFC offers me a fight, I’ll take it – if I’m healthy. I’ve stuck to that from day (expletive) one. A lot of people say that in the UFC, but not a lot of people mean it. It’s just a soundbyte to put on your Twitter and make everyone think you’re badass. I don’t say it for any other reason than it being true.”
Anthony Smith continued:
“I’m not a pretty boy like him,” Smith said. “Nobody wants to take pictures with me in the club. I’ve got to work for a living, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m working. I’m not out here trash talking people for no reason. That’s why nobody likes him. Nobody in the UFC likes him. None of the staff likes him. None of the executives like him. None of the fighters like him. So he can sit pretty and eat his meals on TMZ and talk all the (expletive) all he wants. But at the end of the day, no one likes you, and sometimes that’s what matters most. It’s about how you treat people and if people respect you.”
Do you think we will see an eventual grudge match between bitter rivals Anthony Smith and Luke Rochold? Who would win? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!