UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith is still reeling from his loss to Jon Jones at UFC 235 in March. As he enters his upcoming fight against fellow top contender Alexander Gustafsson this weekend in Stockholm, “Lionheart” continues to question himself about what he should have done during his first-ever title fight.
“If I went out there and done everything I possibly could, and I was able to pull the trigger and he just beat me, I would be able to deal with it better,” Smith told media members during a recent pre-fight scrum. “But I don’t feel like that. And I’m self-deprecating because it’s how I feel. I’m embarrassed of my performance.
“All the pain and the things I put myself through because of the loss, I do because I feel like I deserve it,” he continued. “I’m almost punishing myself and that’s been my drive for this entire training camp. I got to get this terrible feeling out of my stomach.”
Smith says he has not had the chance to let out his frustrations, which he intends to do so against Gustafsson.
“I’m probably a terrible person to be around right now,” he said. “When fighters get ready for fights, they get real crabby, and they get real short-tempered. And then they fight and they let all of that frustration out that they have built up through the entire training camp. I never got to let it out, so I’ve been like this for like six months. I’m losing my sh-t here and I got to get rid of it.”
Smith and Gustafsson will headline UFC Stockholm, which takes place this weekend, June 1st.