Heading into his UFC 235 headlining battle with UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, Anthony Smith has been counted out by a significant portion of the MMA world. That includes the oddsmakers, who have pegged him as a significant betting underdog.
Yet when Anthony Smith looks at Jon Jones, he doesn’t see the unbeatable fighter that so many others see. He seems a person who can be beaten any number of ways.
“I love being the underdog. I love it. There’s no stress, like Jon’s got all the stress right now,” Smith said of Jones in an interview with UFC.com. “If he wants to continue to paint me as the person that shouldn’t be there or that he’s so much better than I am he’s just putting pressure on himself because now look what you have to do. In the build-up to this fight don’t say something that you can’t stand behind when it doesn’t go your way.
“I see lots of ways to beat Jon,” he added. “I don’t get where people see this unbeatable superhero. I don’t see it I just see another man and that’s how we attack it with my team. It’s just a body in front of me and I gotta run through that body and that’s it.”
In the same interview, Anthony Smith also commented on Jones’ numerous run-ins with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Apparently, he’s not worried about what the champion has put in his body.
“I don’t want this whole build-up to be about Jon Jones’ steroid use because at the end of the day it doesn’t change the fact that we are fighting. I could sit here and I could make a bunch of excuses just in case I lose but I’m not doing that because I’m not planning on losing. I’m not doing any of that,” Smith said. “I’m focused on Jon Jones as a fighter. I don’t really care about his personal life, I don’t care what he does on his free time and I don’t care what he puts in his body. I literally don’t give a s***. I just want to fight the body in front of me and I want his position. I don’t care about Jon Jones. I want his title and I want everything that he has right now and I will do whatever I got to do to get there.”
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/27/2019.