Anthony Smith will look to rebound from his loss to Jon Jones when he takes on three-time light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night 153 this Saturday, but ‘Lionheart’ is still perplexed as to what went wrong against ‘Bones’.
Smith, who dropped a unanimous decision to Jones in the UFC 235 main event at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, said everything went great in training and and the pre-fight warm-up, which is why he is so frustrated with how things played out in the Octagon.
“I still can’t [explain it] and that’s the problem,” Smith said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, per BJPenn.com’s Drake Riggs. “It didn’t feel any different. The media obligations were a little bit crazier, Vegas was pretty wild, there was a lot of fans, I got recognized a lot more. But other than that, it felt normal. The whole camp felt good. I mean, if we’re really going to split hairs, then I think training camp was a little bit too long. But I can’t put my finger on anything. Fight night I felt good, walking to the Octagon I felt good, right before the fight started I felt fine and looked better than I’ve ever been. I was sharp, I was on point. So I don’t know what happened.”
The loss to Jones has a left a ‘burning feeling’ in his stomach where Smith just wants to ‘destroy’ Gustafsson in the UFC Fight Night 153 main event.
“To be honest with you, I don’t give a f*ck what happens in the fight,” Smith said of his upcoming bout with Gustafsson. “I want to perform and that’s it. I want to hit him as many times as I possibly can, I want to punch when I can punch, I want to kick when I can kick and if he gets too close I’ll drag him to the f*cking ground and if he gets up then I’ll do it again. That’s all I want to do. I want to perform. That’s as far as my mind has gone. After that, we’ll see what happens because it’s not even about Alex, it’s about me. This is about wanting to take a break but I can’t do it with this burning feeling in my stomach.
“I have this feeling where I just need to destroy something. So whatever happens in the interim, it doesn’t matter to me. I just need to get this feeling out of my stomach and it’s driving me crazy and it keeps me up at night. I just don’t give a sh*t. It could be Alex, it could have been 10 other guys in the division. There’s no gameplan. Those last two fights, I think I got a little too intricate with the gameplans and I think it made me think too much. I’m an instinctual fighter and I always have been so I think got away brought me to the dance. I’m a pressure guy that gets in your face and swings hammers. I could be a super clean striker that’s really pretty and ‘OOs’ and ‘AHHs’ everybody. But deep down in my heart, that’s not who I am and I think that, I don’t know, maybe I was trying to be something I’m not [against Jones].”
UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Smith takes place this Saturday, June 1 at the Ericsson Globe Arena in ‘The Mauler’s’ hometown of Stockholm, Sweden.