Magomed Ankalaev no longer has interest in a clash with Anthony Smith.
Ankalaev took center stage in the main event of UFC Vegas 50. He shared the Octagon with Thiago Santos. Ankalaev emerged victorious via unanimous decision. He feels a UFC Light Heavyweight Title shot is in order.
Following UFC Vegas 50, Magomed Ankalaev explained why he doesn’t want to fight Anthony Smith anymore (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“I am happy that I won. To be honest, it is what it is. We expected him to move forward for the whole fight and to catch him on his mistakes, but he preferred to move backwards. That’s why I preferred to strike with him.
“To be honest, I’m not glad with my performance totally, because I expected him to make an entertaining fight, to strike more, but it is what it is.
“In my opinion, I deserve the title shot next. Because I am on an eight-fight winning streak and some of the fights I finished the guys, and I feel I’m ready.
“As you know, Anthony Smith was offered to fight me before and he wasn’t interested, as I have said. Now I’m looking forward to get the title shot next. I believe I deserve it.”
Smith caught wind of Ankalaev’s comments and detailed why he couldn’t accept the fight initially.
“He was offered the fight. I was fresh out of knee surgery and staph infection, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to take it then.
“I’m healthy now. I’ve been begging for a fight. I think me and the UFC have been waiting for this matchup to happen to see how it unfolds. I guess I do apologize for getting a staph infection.”
With his win over Santos, Ankalaev will find himself in the top five UFC light heavyweight rankings once there is an update. Ankalaev has extended his winning streak to eight.
The current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion is Glover Teixeira. He is scheduled to put his gold on the line against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 in June. Whether or not Ankalaev will get his wish and face the winner remains to be seen.